Wednesday, May 13, 2009

U.S. 95 Sentries

For a little over a month U.S. 95, the north/south route through Idaho, has been getting a bit of badly needed repair through the Coeur d'Alene area. It is a highway we travel daily and we've watched the work progress with a great deal of interest.

Each intersection is getting new curbing and sidewalks that comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act. Plus about seven miles of resurfacing. This is a $4.5 million "pavement preservation project" . I was curious as to what pavement preservation projects are since the surface is being ground off and a new one applied. That doesn't seem like preservation to me. It does seem like a shell game designed to allow for federal funding.

Be it federal money or state money or a combination thereof is moot. It's our tax dollars. That brings me to the point of our curiosity. Everyday, at every intersection, regardless of it's state of completion, stands a solitary hard hatted sentry. I have never seen one with a chair of any sort, nor a lunch bucket. Not a port-o-potty in sight. I've never seen one sitting on the ground.

All construction is at night. There is no construction what-so-ever Friday and Saturday. The intersections seem to be well marked and coned. Yet even on the week ends there stand those sentries!

I asked a store clerk nearby one day and was told she thought it was to keep people from walking on or defacing freshly poured concrete yet they stand where none has yet been poured.

This leads me to believe it is some sort of safety issue, but what? Not many of the intersections have people crossing frequently. Those that do have traffic lights and ample room to avoid the construction area. So what's the deal?

Essentially these people are being paid - to do nothing! I've heard of "make work" but this is ridiculous. "Work" is missing from the equation! If this is where our stimulus money is going, it is stimulating something more than my curiosity. It's stimulating the need for a plausible explanation!


Idaho Dad said...

I've been wondering the same thing this past week. Today, FINALLY, I saw one of those hard hatted sentinels actually doing something. A pedestrian was starting across 95, and the hard hat guy leaped into action, running toward the pedestrian and escorting him most of the way across the highway. It was like a Boy Scout doing his good deed for the day!

Word Tosser said...

wait until you go North towards my way... then you will see a widening of the road...

so where the flag person sign? no work 50 feet away? the way they are not to have any chairs, they have to stand. No lunch boxes as they can't be distracted.. only a bottle of water. One of the reason's they can't have a chair besides the fact they have to be alert, but also they have to be ready to jump out of the way of drivers who are mad and don't want to stop.

Dogwalkmusings said...

I have a bit of trouble getting my head around the idea that in broad daylight the public is not capable of crossing the street without stepping into an obvious work area or that they need to be escorted.