ON THE OPEN ROAD
The main interstate highway in the city, IH-35, has been under construction since we got here, and probably longer. They have reached the stage where some of the major intersections are being reformed. The usual service road intersections are being replaced with "flyovers," those sweeping ramps in the sky that are the skeleton of modern urban spaghetti. To install the major girders and channels, and to pump the concrete sixty feet in the air, they occasionally have to close an whole intersection or a section of highway between intersections for a day or two at a time. This highway is one of the few main arteries in and out of the city, vital to business commuting, so the closures are always done on weekends.
One of the closures was scheduled for a weekend a while back. Announced a week or ten days in advance. But then about Wednesday of that week, someone noted that it was a home football weekend at U.T. Uh-oh. Stories in the papers, statements by college president, mayor, and governor. So what's the trade-off here? Well, let's see. The stadium seats 82,000, and half of those people, more or less, will be coming from the south so they would be inconvenienced by the closure of the intersection that weekend. On the other hand, if the highway remains closed during the Monday morning rush hour traffic, 244,000 cars that normally go through that intersection will have to find a new route. Now let's weigh college football versus commerce. I have no idea who actually made the decision, but you get one guess about what decision was made. Okaaayyyyy.
Copyright (C) 2000, 2001, 2002, Richard Ball Landau. All rights reserved.