The endless road (works)
Orange cones as far as the eye can see
These guys never heard the phrase “If you build it, they will come.” You see, this is the problem with the expansion of interstates and, indeed, building stuff in general.
Inevitably, people want to drive all over it.
Yes, tourism is one of the biggest revenue producers in the state; yes, we want lots of over-taxed Bay Staters and Canadians to come over and pay our restaurant and hotel taxes while they enjoy those beautiful New Hampshire lakes, fresh mountain air and lovely leaves. After all, we don’t tax the trinkets!
We do, however, make you jam on the brakes so you get a good close look at that tourist’s bumper sticker in front of you. Really, I would never presume to think a stranger wants to know who I’m voting for, why would you think I care who you’re voting for?
When I was a wee lad in the days of Pintos and fire-breathing station wagons, the Family Units in our suburbia would load up the family dinosaur and head for those lakes and mountains in what was known as The Great Going North. Plans were laid and gear stowed over the spare tire and just under the dog. The youngest child was placed on the dog and off to great adventures. Sure, the mosquitoes were the size of pterodactyls, but nary an orange cone would be seen.
Oh, those were the days, my friends.
Now though, we are in darkest times. Roadworks stretch for miles from the border on I-93, with endless ramp expansions, relocations, bridge work and cone after cone after cone. We’re well into several years on this add-a-lane project, and yet consider this: The length of road is about 15 miles. The bulk of the entire US Eisenhower Interstate System, some 41,000 miles of it, was built in about 35 years’ time.
Insert laugh track here.
I’m picking on our great state (and its relatively well-cared-for roadways), but take a moment to pity those who leaf peep in the heart of Vacationland. Maine has been revamping their interstates for 47 straight years. The state actually imports 97.3 percent of the world’s traffic cone output. (True; I made it up on the Internets.) Massachusetts? Potholes bigger than a gaggle of presidential hopefuls.
Anyway, how can we expect those wallets, er, good folk from out of state to feel welcome if we’re endlessly building an overpass that took some no-nonsense veterans something like four hours and a pack of Lucky Strikes to build back in the day? Seriously, can’t we just MacGyver this thing already?
That’s not even the worst of it: because, you see, if they ever do finish it, it will just encourage the bast- , er, more of the good folk to drive all over it, leaving us in exactly the same situation we find ourselves in now — which is staring at some family truckster with a dog and child’s face pressed against the tailgate.
Both could use a break at one of our lovely and modern rest areas, as soon as they fully re-open sometime in 2027.