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Wednesday, March 01, 2006

Road Work Starts

For weeks we have been expecting some serious bridge work to start happening but as I reported here about 2 weeks ago, a worker got hit by a pick-up truck and injured (I still do not know how seriously) and that stopped the project dead in its' tracks. Until today Eugene and I were beginning to think they had called off the project altogether (leaving us with a bridge in bad repair). We were wrong.

At 8:30 am there was a guy across the road putting down yellow pin flags showing where the gas line was. Around 11am there was more activity as trucks with blinking lights showed up in the valley where the bridge is. Than a truck with a huge ass auger shows up on the road and drills a big hole (in about 25 seconds) on our slope by the road and than repeats the same thing on the other side. I thought they were putting in power line poles but now I see they are moving the stop lights up the hill almost to our driveway. And the holes are for the telephone poles they are about 20 seconds away from putting in the ground that they will hang the stoplights from. At least I think that is what they are for. I draw this conclusion from the truck in the driveway full of traffic lights. oh and now the fact, that in the time I wrote the last 3 sentences, they got a pole up and in the ground and now a guy is pulling on wires that are attached to two traffic lights.

I am not surprised by all this activity. An O-DOT worker I spoke with on the day of the accident said that the State had majorly messed up where they had placed lights and signs for this project. But the State, until the accident, stood by their incompetent decision of sign and light placement. It turns out no one from Columbus had actually ventured out to US 127 N, Eaton, OH and thus did not know that the road gets pretty scary dangerous going up the 40' pitch. Apparently the topo maps do not do this area justice. They do not indicate that coming south into the valley you are on a blind curve almost until you get to the bottom. And going northbound was even worse because they needed to have signs starting about 1.5 miles from the construction area but started the signs about 1/2 mile from said area which barely gave a driver time to react before he/she is at the traffic lights. Having been in a queue for bridge work on US 127 in Preble county and almost getting creamed by a semi that was not paying attention on a straight away I can see this was a certain recipe for disaster. Shame it took a really nasty accident to make things better. Why the Brass cannot listen to the guys out in the field and pay attention to their requests is beyond me. but they did not and a person had to get badly injured in order to get safer conditions for everyone else.

But in the past two weeks there have been many folks out here from Columbus taking a look and it looks like the O-DOT worker I spoke to was right and now all the signage is being put where it needs to be for the safety of the workers and the drivers on the road.

And now we get about 10 months of stopped traffic at our driveway. this could be unsatisfactory for the farm Stand we plan on opening sometime this spring. than again it will give folks time to take a good look at what we have so maybe this will end up being good for business.

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