Highway crew goes over the line

As a general rule I am not inclined to gripe about the Texas highway department’s construction crews.

I am making an exception based on an experience I had today.

I was returning home from a quick trip to Beaumont, where I paid my respects at the funeral of a dear friend. I was driving north along U.S. Highway 69 through the Piney Woods; I veered onto a toll road and got back onto U.S. 69 south of Greenville.

That’s when it happened. A highway repair crew had stopped traffic because it had become a one-lane right-of-way. I pulled in at the end of a long line of northbound traffic. I could peer toward the head of the line to see the end of the southbound traffic. I noticed the last vehicle.

Our line started to move About a dozen vehicles got through. Then the flagger put the “STOP” sign up. We waited — hold on for this one — for roughly 40 minutes. No one moved through the site. Our line behind me backed up maybe more than a mile. I imagined that the southbound line of vehicles was just as long. Finally, the crew let the southbound vehicles through.

Finally, the end of that flow appeared, and we got through the site. The flagger was waving at us as we drove through. To be brutally candid, I was tempted to give that person the finger … but I didn’t.

I didn’t check my watch, but I am certain I was stopped dead on the highway for an hour.

Holy cow, man! I was beat from the drive from Beaumont. The last thing in this entire world I wanted to do was sit in stopped traffic because a Texas highway department road crew couldn’t manage the flow properly.

There. I’m done. Yes, I feel better now.