Home > government > Being a Road Construction Barrel

Being a Road Construction Barrel

September 16, 2010, 6:30 a.m.

-sigh- Another day another dollar.  At least it’s raining today.  I’ll finally be able to wash off that McDonald’s milkshake that the guy in the Prius tossed on me last week.  Real environmentally friendly dill-hole.

Well, everyone looks pissed again.  Not that I blame them.  My buddies and I have been sitting in these spots for going on four months now.  Plus, there are signs everywhere requiring everyone to slow down for the construction zone.  Does my mere existence in this lane really constitute a construction zone?  Not like it matters though…no one can drive faster than ten miles/hour anyway.  And while the drivers mutter under their breath about ramming stuff, my buddies and I are occupying this perfectly good lane for miles just hoping that some day, actual construction will take place next to us.  I’m afraid many of us are now beginning to lose that hope.

Yesterday seemed like it would be different.  An orange IDOT truck pulled up next to me.  I thought construction may actually start!  But it was not to be.  Instead of actually beginning to improve the roadway, two guys jumped out of the truck, rolled that measuring wheel thingy, laughed about something, and then got back into their truck and left.  I was, I’ll admit, disappointed; and confused…did they really think the measurement changed since they took it a month ago?

My buddy Herb told me that he had actually spoken to a barrel further down the road that said construction was actually occurring.  He said it was really strange because after all of these big machines tore up the road, everybody left for a couple of months.  He said something about workers striking.  He and I both thought it would have been nicer if the workers had decided to stop working before tearing up the road.  But what do we know?  We’re just barrels.

I still remember being placed here in the spring.  I was so excited!  I figured I’d get to watch some cool machines construct a road.  When the drivers creeping past me first became angry, mumbling about the same construction being done last year, I smiled, because I knew the construction would be done in no time.  But here I sit.  Taking up a perfectly good lane when there hasn’t been construction equipment anywhere near me yet.  Seriously, why close a lane for miles, when only about 10 feet is getting worked on at any given time?  I mean, I know my brain consists of a flashing light, but it would seem that only closing the road being worked on would be a smarter idea. 

However, after talking to my buddy Gilbert yesterday, I do think the drivers are being a little hard on the government.  Apparently there are spots where the road isn’t being torn up at all.  In fact, Gil told me that all of the toll lanes are still open, and there are lots of those.  It could be worse, right?

  1. Ben
    September 16, 2010 at 12:47 PM

    This is a not a government issue, this is a Chicago issue. The attitude of state employees and union members are beyond absurd! Here in my part of the world, the construction moves along at a proud American pace. If I were you, I’d move to Iowa.

  2. Mary
    September 16, 2010 at 12:50 PM

    #1 I hate IDOT
    #2 Why or why couldn’t I have the orange barrel concession in Illiois. Whoever does has been rolling in money at least as long as I’ve drive Illinois roads.
    #3 Why are the same stretches of highway dug up year after year after year. Didn’t IDOT have an overall game plan when they started?
    #4 Isn’t it funny how IDOT looks just like IDIOT and you hardly even have to squint.
    #5 I don’t actually think orange barrels are manufactured. I think they are born. I think the orange barrels have been out there so long, they started having orange barrel children. The orange barrel children need to live somewhere so they set up communities along other highway lanes. IDOT isn’t sure why all those lanes have orange barrels on them but doesn’t want to mess up someone else’s plan, so they stay there. Creating more little orange barrels.

  3. September 16, 2010 at 3:38 PM

    I’d love to move to Iowa…or better yet, South Dakota. But my wife won’t let me.

  4. January 12, 2013 at 6:33 AM

    I was curious if you ever considered changing the structure of
    your blog? Its very well written; I love what youve
    got to say. But maybe you could a little more in the way of
    content so people could connect with it better. Youve got an awful lot of text for only having one or two pictures.
    Maybe you could space it out better?

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