The other day I hit a pothole so hard that the song on the radio skipped and the quarters in my cupholder turned into nickels. It’s a beautiful street with lovely homes, but I imagine the residents look out the window and see cars careening past with air bags deployed from the pothole shock, the drivers’ arms waving like someone being hugged by a giant marshmallow.
The pavement has that Berlin circa 1945 condition that makes you wonder what your taxes go for, anyway. The answer is simple: repairs for other roads in places you don’t drive. Let’s look at the new list of highway projects around the state.
I-94 eastbound: Reduced to one lane, then expanded to six lanes, then reduced to one lane, then expanded to six lanes, in honor of National Accordion Month.
Hwy. 10, Motley to Staples: A nice, new yellow line will be painted so some fool can drive through when it’s wet and leave streaks everywhere that will take about a year to wear off.
I-94 east and westbound: The Frazee exit will have orange cones on the shoulder for no reason, making everyone think something big is going to happen, but nothing will. The cones will be removed July 17, and a MnDOT official will present the last cone to the mayor, kneeling and holding it out. The mayor will put the cone on his head and wear it for one day. Old-timers will tell tales about the year they didn’t perform this ceremony, and locusts took away the livestock.
I-35W, Burnsville to Roseville: New lane striping, bridge-lighting upgrades to LED, new reflective signage, noise barrier decorated with mosaics and wood inlays.
I-35E: They’ll get around to mowing the ditch eventually. Don’t be silly, East Metro, MnDOT loves both I-35s equally.
I-35, Hinckley to Duluth: New rumble strips will be cut in the side of the road because the old ones used an alarming sound once described as “robot elephant flatulence” to alert you, but the new ones are spaced so they say “Hey! Hey!” in Morse code.
Lowry Hill Tunnel: Lane closures through 2057; inbound traffic reduced to one lane; outbound traffic reduced to tears.
I-90: Entire road dug up and replaced by MnDOT’s Artistic Construction Unit. They just weren’t feeling it the first time.
Kings Highway, Minneapolis: Road closed for a day to put up signs that block residents’ view of people hitting trees because the potholes triggered their air bags. It’s funny at first but then it’s annoying.