Corsicana Daily Sun, Corsicana, Texas

Columns

June 14, 2010

It’ll be great — really!

Corsicana — The construction project to move utilities out from under Seventh Avenue was supposed to get underway last week, but the crews are still gathering their materials for the start-up, I’m told.

Consider it gearing up for battle.

When I tell people about the Seventh Avenue project they get this look in their eyes, like I’m describing a BP-style oil spill in downtown Corsicana.

“Really? Two years of construction work? That’s awful.”

So far, no one has used the magic “Hasn’t anyone thought about the children?” which is the fall-back objection when there’s no other argument against something, but I expect it to happen soon.

The work will take two years if we’re lucky. Stuff happens on construction projects. Stuff like rain, raccoons and wrecks that slow down progress. However, it’s not as bad as all that, although I’ll be singing a different song come August when I can’t get to the Subway or CVS without sitting for 15 minutes in traffic.

We might as well face it — we’re stinking-to-high-heaven spoiled.

If I have to sit through a traffic light for more than one cycle in Corsicana, I feel aggrieved. I honestly can’t recall the last time it has happened to me, although I’ve come close a few times up by the post office, but that’s just because that’s the spooky intersection.

For some reason, drivers at that intersection seem to be mesmerized by something (I still don’t know what), and they either randomly turn without giving any signal, or they’ll sit there through a green light then go straight when it turns yellow. It’s baffling.

And yet I can well remember a light in Dallas (you know that intersection at Garland Road and LBJ?) where I usually sat through a light three or four times while the line of cars crept closer and closer, and a light in Austin where it was three cycles at least, and up to 6 cycles during rush hour. (Yes, I-35 and William Cannon Parkway, I’m talking about you.) I used to stay at work an extra 30 minutes to wait out the worst of it, figuring I might as well work during that time instead of sitting in my car for the same time.

That’s traffic, my friends.

We will be inconvenienced. Seventh will be even slower than it has been in the past with all the left-turners and the I-must-come-to-a-dead-stop-to-turn-right people, but it won’t be anything like a big city experiences every day of every year.

I had a part-time job when I worked in Dallas where the office was located on Central Expressway, or for those of you who don’t go to Dallas, that’s U.S. 75 and it’s what I-45 turns into. This was in the early ‘90s, when Central was a seemingly permanent construction site. I’m not kidding when I say that project took 18 years. I only had to wade through about two years of it, but that was long enough. I still have flashbacks when I zip along that gorgeous road now. And I will tell the world that Central is now as beautiful an urban highway as you’ll find anywhere.

I guess what I’m saying is that if we can keep our griping to a minimum, maybe we’ll end up with something lovely in a couple, or dare I say, a few years, down the road.

In the meantime, now is when we should be planning our alternate routes, just to preserve our own sanity.

You’ll see me on Second Avenue — a lot.

             —————

Janet Jacobs is a Daily Sun staff writer. Her column appears on Sundays. She may be reached via e-mail at jacobs@corsicanadailysun.com. Want to “Soundoff” on this column? E-mail: soundoff@corsicanadailysun.com

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