Last Tuesday morning, I headed in to work and discovered that apparently someone important decided not to let people leave Indiana. At least, it certainly seemed that way, since an entire lane of the Sherman Minton Bridge was closed for construction, just as rush hour was firing up.
My typical commute is around 45 minutes each way. After an hour and 20 minutes, I still wasn’t in Kentucky, much less my office. I finally surrendered and managed to make my way through the congested streets of downtown New Albany to the wi-fi spot at the public library, where I worked until the bridge traffic was finally passable.
After a solid week of gridlock and failing to find a route to Kentucky that took less than an hour, I decided to hit the Indiana Department of Transportation’s website to see how long this situation was going to last.
I finally did find a notice that said the closure would continue till October 22.
Two full months of this.
There was apparently some discussion as to whether INDOT could shift the workday an hour or two later to miss morning rush hour, but the latest word from their official spokesperson basically amounts to “Nah. That might inconvenience our road crews. Sucks to be you guys. Find another way out of Indiana I guess.”
As another local pointed out in the Tribune article, diverting to I-65 and the Kennedy Bridge doesn’t really work either. The I-71 construction already has that backed up and not really able to handle any additional capacity.
Forget about a new bridge. I’d be happy to just have ones we already have back to full capacity.
You know, I’m in favor of promoting teleworking and more energy-efficient alternatives to commuting. But I think trapping commuters in gridlock hell for an undefined period of time might be a little overly passive-aggressive, even for our collective state governments.