A Cowboy’s Faith: Highway repairs cause aggravation

A Cowboy's Faith: Click to read more from Frank J. Buchman.“Road construction ahead. Detour now. Watch for flagman. Be prepared to stop. Follow pilot car.”

Those have been the dreaded orange sign alerts that slowed work commute there and back more than 35 minutes daily.

Highway repair and construction are essential, but it can be very aggravating too.

Well, perhaps not as upsetting as big potholes causing flat tires, damage to springs and motor mount weakening.

For nine years, road to the office has been in terrible shape. Up in the morning and down in the evening, it became a daily dread. Certainly, a complaining conversation piece among coworkers.

After years of patching, re-patching and promises of redoing the whole road, new construction is finally underway.

Of course, that requires a detour. In this situation, complete building of an asphalt entrance to the four offices on top of the hill. Give credit where due. That roadway seems high quality considering it’ll be bulldozed away when the main road’s fixed.

So, instead of coming within just a half mile of work on the highway, entrance is a three-mile crooked back road. It seemed lots further, but odometer shows exact same mileage, although slower driving and stop signs take longer.

Main highway from the ranch to interstate is being all redone too. That’s where there’s been major time loss, waiting until two dozen cars go by on the now one-lane road.

Uncertain if the work really needs done, because the highway hasn’t seemed that bad. Moreover, the state department just recently did a nice job of cover-up on a handful of half-mile stretches. Wasting more taxpayer money seemingly.

Now another concern about doing all this reconstruction with two dozen or more pieces of big equipment and reflector-vested workers. The whole highway is supposed to be revamped –  nearly doubled in width with major curves straightened.

Landowners along the route for the most part have settled with the government for the property damages that’ll entail.

It’s been a couple years since those dealings took place and now there’s question exactly when there’ll be funding for the project to begin. Many have constructed completely new fences a long ways inside original borders taking away pasture and cropland.

Reminded of First Chronicles 28:20: “He will not fail nor abandon but will guide in the construction until all the work is finished.”


030615-franksmug2Frank J. Buchman is a lifelong rancher from Alta Vista, a lifetime newspaper writer, syndicated national ag writer and a radio marketing consultant. He writes a weekly column to share A Cowboy’s Faith.

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