So Where Was Our Bridge Over Troubled Waters?

Curt-lineby Curt Kovener

The floods of 2015 appear to have subsided for the time being. At least the flood waters that prevented passage over county and state roads along the Muscatatuck and White River basins.

Farmers, will be dealing with the over abundance of water for some time to come what with crops ruined and no time left in the growing season to re-plant. The remaining muck and silt may make cultivation difficult and weeds prolific.

Even those growing crops not in the flood prone areas have had production hampered by too much moisture. It is a definition of irony to see the six-figure irrigation systems some hub deep in water.

The Crothersville-Tampico Pike and Crothersville Road east of Slate Ford were impassible for a long while as were the Retreat Bottoms (appropriately named) and State Road 250.

Granted a bridge/culvert replacement had that road closed east of the flood prone area, but the locals have a non-state sanctioned detour. But with the shallow river basin area between Uniontown and Dudleytown also flooded, it left few options for east-west travel.

Couple the driving difficulties of the multi-single lane changing repairs of I-65, the traffic backups of the same and then the I-65 traffic diverting to US 31 causing that artery to clog, it left motorists with little to no options for non-snail’s pace travel.

Which, I suppose, brings me to the crux of this prose.

Why, when I-65 & US 31 are clogged with the usual traffic and east-west roadways are flooded, would INDOT decide to fix a bump in a bridge on US 31 over I-65. The single lane traffic caused even more back-ups.

Then there was the single lane chip and sealing on State Road 135. And some more single lane bridge bump fixing on the same area. On State Road 58 in Bartholomew County there were more minor road repairs forcing flaggers to get motorists in a single line.

At one point in the road repair gridlock I was told by an orange shirted worker to hurry up as others wanted to get through too. Then before I cleared the work area, another, by his hand gestures, wanted me to slow down.

On the back of their vest it reads INDOT, but from my experience the word was misspelled.

Road repairs are a good thing. A necessary thing. But don’t the road repair crews coordinate with the storm damage crews? If there is only one road out of Baghdad, should it be single lane for bridge repairs?

And now I see where a bridge over the Muscatatuck connecting the bumpy US 31 in Crothersville with the near failing US 31 in Austin is being prepared for traffic lights for more necessary travel delays.

To paraphrase as famous saying: INDOT moves in mysterious ways its wonders to perform.