Drive, He Said (Part II)

North Roosevelt Boulevard in Key Weird got a new traffic pattern last week, four days earlier than planned.

North Roosevelt BoulevardThe $41.5 million reconstruction of the 2.9 mile city street is a little more than halfway complete after 15 months of work and business owners continue to lose customers — meaning money. They’ve been pushing the Florida Department of Transportation to end to the work early. Based on FLDOT reports, the project is 66.3% complete after 544 days of construction that started on April 23 and is expected to culminate in September.

2014.

When 2014 rolls around, the 2.9-mile street will have a magnificent new seawall with a 20-foot-wide, landscaped promenade, alongside four lanes of traffic plus a center turn lane, and a six-foot sidewalk.

I’ve (tried to) drive North Roosevelt during this shutdown. A “difficult traffic mess” is an understatement. Reopening parts of the unfinished street should help businesses attract the customers who have avoided them for the last two years. And Fantasy Fest started Saturday.

The plans look good but I have a fundamental distrust of Florida’s road constructors.

This North Roosevelt tie up follows the almost-seven-year boondoggle on the 18-mile stretch, three years to lay sewers and repave Overseas Highway through Marathon, and more. The 18-mile stretch, that important artery that connects the Keys with the United States, was redesigned for safety. Particularly during hurricane evacuations. That’s probably why it gets closed pretty much every time there’s a fender bender. And Route 1 through Marathon is yet another choke point, right in the middle of the Keys. At least when they finished that project, there were still two lanes going each direction. And no traffic circles.

Y’all think we should throw the bums out of Washington. All of them. I agree but I reckon it’d be better to start with the DOT and work our way up.

 

1 thought on “Drive, He Said (Part II)

  1. Lawzy, I missed Part l. But then, I also missed GWTW Part 1 and was taken aback by all the carnage in Atlanta that suddenly popped up on my VCR when I put in Tape ll.

    Likewise, I recall seeing Arnold and Jamie Lee in True Lies (also on VHS), and I know for a fact that much of the long bridge of which you speak was destroyed in an attempt to save the world from A-rab terrorists. (The A-rabs, BTW, had a valid reason for their mischief, and they clearly explained it in the movie. But it went over the heads of most American moviegoers of the ’90’s who hate the sight and smell of A-rabs.) I exclude liberal democrats, who do not and think we can win their affection by being nice.

    Where was I? Oh, yes. “Drive he said.” That was my point of reference.

    If you look up “Choke point”, and Highway Delay” in any Thesaurus, it will undoubtedly reference “Boondoggle”. And, if you look that up in any dictionary of renown, it will spill into lines and lines of rhetoric that reference government — whether Federal, State, County or Municipal — and it will end with the oft-heard phase: “Just follow the money trail”.

    Even Noah Webster is quoted as having said, “The Boondoggle was created for no other purpose than to give future bloggers something to pound the table and rant about.”

    Noah had his Chit together; but he often ended sentences in prepositions.
    — George

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