RoadConstruction.jpgAcross they nation they are recruited, trained, equipped and indoctrinated into it – the great conspiracy to generate more road traffic and thus increase commute times and gas consumption. In league with OPEC, the Department of Energy and Exxon, highway construction crews run a seemingly convoluted operation to do nothing but waste motorists’ time.

It goes like this: start with a congested thoroughfare, and plan an enduring revamp or overhaul of several merging lanes, exit ramps and medians. The supervisor gathers his crew, usually at some odd time like 9 pm., because as everyone knows during the day road workers are not actually working; they are taking breaks. The supervisor stands up in front, usually in the back of a state-owned pickup, and addresses the team:

“Alright men, what we have here is the beginning of a five year construction of a bypass that is completely unnecessary, woefully overpriced and the taxpayers will not see the benefits or recoup the costs for until about 20 years time, in which of course we have then planned about three or four revisions to this design. The architect and engineers responsible have ensured this project requires materials to be shipped in from out of state, that the overall function and design of the project will actually cause more problems than it solves, and as every good road project worker knows, half our equipment is either on back-order or in maintenance.”

“Now I see you men have gone ahead and placed about 34 miles of cones along the inner two lanes of the highway. Good job, hopefully you didn’t go about that task for more than 2 hours at a time, with about 4 hour breaks in between. Since the first and most crucial part of highway projects is to make traffic even worse as we claim to make it better by building this needless lane expansion – or whatever it was I said we’re doing, not that it matters anyway – we need to continue to build choke points that will bottleneck traffic and create numerous chokepoints at exactly the area where one would need to merge in order to make their proper exit. Who has suggestions on how we can accomplish this?”

One worker chimes in. “Sir, well, I have these barrels I can have brought in from three counties away.”

“Good thinking, Jimbo. That’s why you’re being made shift supervisor for the first time on this project. Yes just like a road project needs cones, it also needs lots of barrels. Make sure to get the ones with three stripes and that’s one, I say one, reflector on top. And be sure to turn that reflector in such a direction so no headlight beams actually hit it and make the barrel fully visible. We need to have those barrels sneak up on drivers, particularly in rainstorms. What else, men? Come on now, remember you’re wasting taxpayer dollars, so please, don’t rush. Think hard. In fact let’s all gather in a circle, sit down and just relax. Kick your boots off and heck, smoke ’em if you got ’em.”

After a few moments another man perks up. “Boss, the last project I worked on made sure to never be present  until about 3pm., and only worked until about 7. During that period we had several semis haul tractors we didn’t actually use in the middle of rush hour.”

“That’s a great one, Tom! Yes I want you to get on that in about 4 hours, right around the time Jimbo makes the shift schedule and orders those barrels. I tell you what, this is a great brainstorming session, but let’s face it, we’ve been on the site for 2 whole hours now. Let’s wrap this up and show up at oh..what time is good for all of you?”

“About 5-ish? We can all block traffic when we’re showing up to the site, and that’s the same time we have the jackhammers showing up! That’ll waste 3 whole hours right there!”

“Jimbo, you’ll make site super one of these days with that ethic! Okay men, tomorrow at 5-something sharp.”