Construction interruption | The Triangle

Construction interruption

Photograph courtesy of bcgrote at Flickr

It’s summer, and you know what that means. There are a lot of people traveling down to the shore, up to the mountains, or wherever to simply get away from the city and relax, especially on the weekends.

This creates a lot of traffic, which is bad enough. We don’t need anything else to interfere with our travels, but there’s another traffic inducer we face during the summer that can make our trips significantly more tedious.

Road work.

It’s a huge problem in the United States, because we all like to go somewhere nice during the summer and take advantage of the weather to go swimming, hiking, bike riding, camping, or simply relaxing in the sun when we have time.

At the same time, the warm weather season is the only time of year that allows construction to be completed throughout much of the nation. One reason is, as explained by the Maryland-based Atlantic Maintenance Group, that the winter weather can contract and expand asphalt, thus ruining the pavement.

In a heavily trafficked area like Philadelphia on the weekends in the summer, all major roads become a mess, especially on the holiday weekends with so many people traveling. Factor in road construction to all of that. Just one lane closure can wreak so much havoc that ends up bringing traffic to an annoying standstill that simply seems ridiculous.

If you’ve been up the Pennsylvania Turnpike’s Northeast Extension (Interstate 476) frequently, you might be quite familiar with the interference of the widening project between Norristown and Lansdale that’s been going on for so long now. Instinctively, you just don’t expect for traffic to happen, especially because these are meant to be “fast” roads with their 50-to-70 mph speed limits.

Take also, for example, Interstate 495 in Delaware. It has a bit of volume; when road work closes a lane or two on that road, motorists can experience delays of more than 20 minutes! The high volume of traffic may contribute to people not preparing for what’s on the road ahead, because they’re unable to change lanes. Sometimes, it makes people wish they didn’t live in such a densely populated area with so much traffic.

To help your situation in any case on the road, the best you can do is stay calm and pull off to a safe place (such as a travel plaza) if you’d like to plan an alternate route. Also, plan ahead as best as you can if you need to be somewhere by a certain time. For example, if you’re planning to be at a party down on the shore and it takes, say, an hour and 30 minutes, you should allow double that amount of time to get down. Not only will you be better prepared timewise, but you’ll also be better prepared mentally and emotionally.