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You can’t get there from here.

October 26, 2011 - Michael Palmer
One common phrase, sometimes said in a New England accent, "You can't get there from here" applies to driving into the Valley from Harrison County.

The roads all seem to be succumbing to the forces of nature and gravity and the slip repair has set a line of traffic lights to control the flow through these one lane construction zones.

My first is just outside of Cadiz on 250 before you even get to Georgetown. Then there are two more and soon to be a third on 250 between Colerain and Bridgeport. If you choose to reroute via Colerain Pike you will miss one of the traffic lights on 647, but after CR 4 coming up the hill, there is another.

Then when you start into Martins Ferry utility work has 647 closed, coming down the hill it is blocked off so you can detour and take the Suriano Shortcut, which is also down to one lane due to a slip there, which if I recall was just repaired last year.

There are several more spots along 250, which are in need of repair and are either scheduled already or soon will be for their turn at the drill and track hoe excavation and of course a traffic light or flag man.

Even last night while traveling to Old Washington for a volleyball game I noticed 40 was closed. Some fans from Garaway were detoured around Seneca Lake adding an extra 50 minutes to their drive, not knowing they could have simply driven the 5 miles back to Cambridge and then 10 minutes later been at the school taking 70 east instead.

A GPS can be a wonderful thing, and then there are times like this when you want to stop along the road and fling the thing into some water filled ditch after it leads you around the state marked detour of 40.

Route 7 is still one lane for a short stretch near Brilliant and I am sure there are more county roads that are closed, like 214.

With our current budget difficulties, I guess that complaining the roads are being fixed is counterproductive. If you consider that many of these highways were built with teams of horses, wagons, steam shovels and crews of men with digging tools, I guess it was inevitable that the roads would eventually begin to fail under the heavy traffic loads and trucking.

I do not even want to start thinking about bridges.

The whole “Mothman” paranoia comes into play with that subject around the river.

Any way, enough complaining, my long commute is going to be just a little longer, but in the end the inconvenience will be worth the wait.

I suppose I could always run 9 down to St. Clairsville and then transition in on 70, but that would mean dealing with the whole Bridgeport bottleneck, which can mean longer delays depending on which time of day I will be driving in. I-470 can be just as bad, the back up at the 7 interchange can get epic at times.

Keeping it all in perspective, my uncle drives an hour commute to work and he lives 15 miles from his office. My little pause for construction lights at 2 am pales in comparison to urban gridlock.

Still, it would not surprise me some foggy night to drive around a sharp bend in 250 and end up doing an off-road plunge into some wooded area where a section of the highway had dropped into the abyss.

Add that to my nightly deer dodging adventures and there is little fear I will be falling asleep at the wheel on my commute.


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