News from the Tennessee Valley Opinion


Get accustomed to work crews on nationís roads

Gregg Holladay of Massey has lived for more than a half a century and he says the state has either been building or improving Alabama 157 for most of that time.

Many of us feel that way about the roads we travel. Construction and repairs never stop.

There is a message in what Mr. Holladay says for all of us who travel the state and nation's interstates: Get accustomed to the construction projects.

Every state is scrambling to keep up roads and build additional lanes to accommodate the increase in the number of vehicles while keeping traffic flowing.

It's quite a remarkable feat that they accomplish.

Workers are closing in on finishing a 12-mile stretch of Alabama 157 through Morgan and Lawrence counties that's costing $48 million. In addition to having a four-lane road, motorists will be happy to be out from under the threat of tickets for speeding in the construction zone.

A trooper who stopped at Mr. Holladay's Gregg's Grocery recently said he wrote 22 speeding tickets in a day's time. But when the construction zone signs come down there, they will go up elsewhere, then somewhere else because that is the nature of highway construction.

Motorists who ignore the speed limit in construction zones are asking for trouble. If workers are present, the signs say fines will double. But even if workers are not on the job, the narrow lanes and temporary pavement make speeding dangerous.

The state now posts troopers at many of the road construction and repaving sites because motorists fail to slow. So, get used to the slower speeds and delays because they are now an essential part of the aging interstate system.

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