21 May 2011

The Free Alberta Highway

Two days ago I was driving on the Anthony Henday highway that goes around Edmonton. The purpose of this highway, I'm told, was so one could go from the south side to the north side in fifteen minutes. To the credit of whoever planned it, that is generally the case.

Unfortunately, even though the highway has only been in heavy use for like three years, they have already decided that rather than fill in the moonscape that is 50th Street, they must do their construction on the almost butter-smooth Anthony Henday.

I'm here to tell you few things are more frustrating than sitting in an endless string of traffic going exactly six kilometres an hour for a good half hour (at least). Those orange construction signs line the roads, telling the traffic to condense into one lane but when nothing materialises in the cleared-out lane, the impatients pull out and zoom ahead -- only to finally reach a physical barricade a kilometre later and have to merge back into the lane they just left. Which makes the lane insanely slow for those of us already in it because these idiots keep sticking their hood ornaments in our way so we can't just suck up to each other's bumpers and keep the impatient blockheads out.

So they merge in and we continue. Beads on a string, being slowly added at one end and pushed along a thread, no hope of escape.

Finally, after almost half the highway, we see evidence that the construction signs might actually be telling the truth -- there's a pair of highway maintenance trucks.

As we pass it we see... two men, one holding a shovel.

That's it.

I have been delayed for a half hour because of two men and one shovel.


Brittney said...

well, you know what they say: Winter and Construction are our only two seasons! I feel your pain, though...

Kate said...

Oh, I know...
I'm just glad this didn't happen on the way there because I was already running late then -- this was on the way back, when I had more time to spare.