Tuesday, September 1, 2009

The ROAD is actually CLOSED

We live in a town home on a private road, though its not marked or anything. Looking out my basement patio window I see my side yard, the street we live on, another patch of green, and about 20 feet beyond that Concord, or what used to be Concord.

At the beginning of summer (though many Minnesotans don't know what you're talking about when you use that term...), the county started it's road construction season. It started north of us, and has moved it's way down to our end. On your way to Concord from any main or side street you will find many "Road Closed Ahead" signs (some vandalized so the "Closed A" is spray painted out), and detour signs guiding you in the right direction. At this point, there is no asphalt in sight, only holes and piles of dirt, with many concrete pipes (I'm assuming for the sewer) laying around next to large yellow machines.

While I was worried about how loud the construction equipment was going to be, I was quite excited that people doing 50+ mph while revving up their motorcycle engines, or using their J-brakes would disappear for a month or so. The heavy machinery has been a little loud at times (they have a funny way of only being loud when I have a headache). But that has been the least of my worries, or, I guess at times, my amusement.

As soon as they placed the road closed sign right after the turn off for our road, people started turning down our private 15mph road, not following the speed limit sign, thinking that Concord would magically be open just for them. After staring at the Road Closed sign at the end of our road heading out to Concord, debating whether or not their car was up for the challenge of the small dirt pile placed in front of our road, they would hastily make a U-turn and put the pedal to the metal, angry that they lost 1 minute in their attempt to find a short cut. This continued for several days, and I finally realized that I could email the project manager, as they have been sending us updates all summer on this whole project.

The day after I emailed him, the "Road Closed" sign was moved up to the next street (which actually does go through if you know you way through a couple twists and turns). The day after that, they placed "No Outlet- Residents Only" signs in two different places. This has pretty much deterred all of our U-turners.

However, sitting out on our front deck in the evenings after the construction crews have left, we have found much amusement. At first we saw some boys biking through the construction checking everything out. As I don't see anything that is potentially dangerous, I haven't minded seeing them explore. Then after a day or so, we started seeing vehicles driving down the dirt. The road crews holes and dirt piles have moved from day to day as they work their way down the road, but soon these vehicles realize that the road is actually closed for a reason... YOU CAN'T GET THROUGH! Dirt piles and holes make up much of the road, so we see several vehicles driving down the dirt as far as they can, only to realize that the road is actually closed. (Funny, as I type this, an SUV is trying to muscle its way through the dirt, almost got stuck, and just made a U-turn). My husband told me today that he actually saw someone turn onto what used to be Concord, while the construction crew was out working. Crew members started walking towards his car to chase him out and he quickly realized that the Road Closed signs did indeed apply to him too. So he pulled a U-turn and headed on out.

So next time you don't pay attention to some construction signs, just remember that you will probably be the point of amusement for someone who has nothing better to do with their summer (sorry, road construction season) evenings than stare out a window, and call you stupid.

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