Construction times are unacceptable

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, May 28, 2002

As a daily traveler on Shelby County Highway 43 for the last 12 years, I have been through several improvements and resurfacing projects.

For the last several months, the county has been working to improve the road. Signs have been properly posted and delays kept to a minimum.

However, for two months, Dunn Construction has been resurfacing the road &045; three separate applications to be exact &045; and delays have been completely unreasonable on a county road with moderate traffic.

With any construction, one anticipates delays and incorporates them into their daily commute; however it is impossible to estimate or guess how long it will take you to travel 24 miles with two stop signs.

So far, I am up to an hour and a half commute to work on Highway 280 as one never knows which days Dunn will be working.

For two months I have been consecutively late for work with delays anywhere from 20 minutes on up while they wait to accumulate at least a mile of traffic before allowing a group to pass.

By the time one realizes the delay, back-tracking to Vandiver to Highway 25 and then to Highway 41 or to Highway 231 adds almost incomprehensible additional mileage.

The situation this morning on Highway 43 and Highway 280 was inconceivable and a Shelby County deputy was actually trying to get Dunn to halt and allow traffic to move.

I waited over 40 minutes to get from Forest Parks subdivision to Highway 280, and as I turned right onto Highway 280 and glanced back to my left, traffic was stopped over the mountain into Chelsea.

I burned a fourth of a tank of gas, and this morning alone had 16 minutes in lost wages.

Calculate that by at least 75 vehicles on Highway 43 and over 200 on Highway 280.

Can we expect Shelby County or Dunn Construction to reimburse us? Or at the very least could the engineers and planning offices use some common sense and work around morning and afternoon commute times (like they do in other states).

Granted, I am no rocket scientist but it doesn’t take a lot of common sense to devise a sensible plan and eliminate a little of Shelby County’s air pollution and traffic congestion problems &045; both of which are self-imposed.

Editor’s Note: The previous letter was delivered to the Alabama Department of Transportation as well as the newspaper