We can state for certain that time travel will never be invented. The proof is right under our wheels.

If you ask someone what they would do if they could go back in time, you get the usual ideas: stop Hitler, tell the captain of the Titanic to slow down or, perhaps, figure out a way to get Hitler on the Titanic. Generic stuff.

We know time travel will never be invented because no one went back to talk to the people who designed the 35W-94 interchange. A time traveler could have saved them — and us — a lot of problems by showing them the plans for the current renovation.

Would they have believed him? That’s another issue.

If I were to go back today and say, “I am from the year 2019!” they’d say, “Uh, you’re wearing jeans and shoes my children wear.”

“Well,” I’d tell them, “this is how we dress. People still listen to the Beatles, too. Well, less and less. Would it help if I wore a silvery jumpsuit with big pointed shoulders and had a shaved head? Hold on, I’ll be right back.”

I’d return to 2019, get someone to sew me a costume, and then go back to 1966. “I come from the year 2020!”

“You said 2019 just a few minutes ago.”

“Well, I took a nap. And I figured it didn’t matter what time I was from, as long as I stopped you from building the freeway incorrectly. Here are the plans we are using in the future. Build it like this ...

“Oh, shoot, I’m not getting any bars. I put all the files in the cloud. Hold on, I have to run back to 2020, I’ll be back in a second. Anyone want anything? Starbucks?

“Is that the money you use in the future for trading with other planetary systems?”

“Um, OK. Anyway, don’t build anything. I’ll be right back.”

Well, that clearly didn’t happen. So we now must endure this construction to make things right. The project has two interesting aspects familiar to anyone heading into downtown.

1. Most commuters often feel like their lives are in rut, but that’s literally so on 35W near downtown. There’s a half-mile-long rut about 9 inches wide, and it wants to kill me. I’m already so close to the traffic in the next lane that our side-view mirrors are high-fiving each other, and then the rut grabs the wheel. You’re either going to get slammed into the car on one side or hurled into the concrete barrier on the other. Imagine a roller-coaster that’s also bumper cars!

It would be really great if they could patch that, because the last time I saw a trench that deep was in a documentary about World War I.

2. While I’m sure work is being done at the usual pace, I never see a soul on the site. Perhaps they’re working like home-improvement contractors who show up, wreck everything, start work, then disappear to finish another job. Or they’re all vampires who cannot work when the sun is out. I’m going with the vampire option.

In a few years it will be done. Everyone will be delighted to experience a rush-hour backup on a brand-new road. It’s like childbirth — the pain is forgotten and you go with the new joy in your life.

Anyone who took four years to give birth while being pushed on a gurney at 60 miles per hour over a potholed hallway will surely agree.