Home Opinion Mine Creek Revelations by Louie Graves: Hate I-30 progress

Mine Creek Revelations by Louie Graves: Hate I-30 progress

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WHEN GOOD NEWS IS BAD NEWS. Saw article in the state newspaper last week that I-30 will get some improvements.

Yep, the road construction crews will begin on the improvements on I-30 sometime this summer

 They are gonna improve I-30 for 5+ miles starting at near the Haskell exit and going all the way through Benton. The work will mean that both sides of I-30 will be reduced to two measley lanes for a painful period of time. By ‘period of time’ I mean you could spawn a child and see the little darling graduate from law school before the new governor (who is probably not even born yet) can helicopter in for the ribbon-cutting (thereby avoiding the traffic snarl).

I am really dreading this progress.

There ain’t but one way to get to Little Rock from here — and that’s Interstate-30 thru Benton. Even if you drive on the old US 67 it ends at Haskell where US 67 merges with I-30.

Or, if you drive thru Hot Springs on US 70, it will take you almost all the way to where the highway merges with I-30 near Haskell.

Or you could take US 298 out of Hot Springs to Crows and north on Arkansas 9 to Paron, and then into fancy smantsy West Little Rock, but that would take several days and you would be seasick. Trust me, I’ve done this.

Or you could drive to Pine Bluff and take that highway north to Little Rock. The problem is that while you’re driving in Pine Bluff you have to hunker down lower than the steering wheel so that you don’t present an easy target.

My office associates also point out a route past Hot Springs Village, crossing the Arkansas River at Toad Suck near Conway and down to North Little Rock. That would only take a day and a half.

I’m just sharing this good news with you now so you can begin scheduling vacation time to coincide with doctor appointments and other stuff that you have to go to Little Rock for in the next few years.

My first suggestion is to allow yourself 48 full hours to get to Little Rock. My second suggestion is to the contractors — put out some porta-potties every quarter mile.

IT GETS WORSER! Had to drive to LR Saturday morning, and went by way of Prescott to get on the Interstate.

The bridge over the interstate was down to one lane by virtue of construction. Well, that is a pretty busy place for big trucks, and so there was a long line and leisurely wait until the trucks and I could get to the OTHER side of the interstate so we could go northbound. But, there were orange signs warning of construction ahead on the Interstate.

My fine brain took over. I thought I’d skip the construction headaches by driving on U.S. 67 for awhile. It is a narrow old road, but it mostly parallels I-30. I figgered I could save time and avoid the construction by driving to the next road connecting to the Interstate. That would be just south of Gurdon, home of Freddie Horne who measures live alligators with an old-fashioned cloth measuring tape (but that’s another story and I’m sure you wouldn’t be interested.).

It’s two miles between the highways at that point. When I got to the Interstate there were more construction warning signs so I turned around and got back on US 67 again. Stayed on it for several miles until the NEXT connecting highway. This one was four or five miles back to the Interstate, and of course when I got there I was greeted with more construction signs. I got on I-30 anyway and there was no evidence of construction all the way to Little Rock.

By my calculation, the maneuvering added 37 miles and 45 minutes to my trip. I can only guess that the the highway department inserted these orange false construction signs in order to prepare us motorists for the coming frustration of REAL Interstate construction.

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ANIMAL CRACKERS. Nashville does not have the only claim to an alligator sighting, Last week one was reported on the side of the highway near Ashdown. Must be the high water making them move.

I have not heard if Ashdown officials asked Freddie Horne to bring his tape measure for an accurate recording of the beast’s size. The newspaper at Texarkana whimpered that no accurate size was given to the newspaper to report.

MORE Animal Crackers.

Daughter and I were enjoying a Play-de-Do on the deck at Cajun’s Wharf in Little Rock, Saturday (Cajun’s is closing June 1 so we were making a sentimental dinner outing). Suddenly another group on the deck started shouting and pointing down at the water. We looked. It was a beaver. Looked to be at least 4-ft. long, although I didn’t have my measuring tape handy. It was the first time I had ever seen a beaver.

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WORD GAMES. The twins: Safe and Sound. Thank goodness!

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THINGS I LEARNED from opening email: “Why is the letter W, in English, called double U? Shouldn’t it be called double V?“

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HE SAID: “I have come to believe that a great teacher is a great artist and that there are as few as there are any other great artists. Teaching might even be the greatest of the arts since the medium is the human mind and spirit.” John Steinbeck, author

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SHE SAID: “I do not know anyone who has got to the top without hard work. That is the recipe. It will not always get you to the top, but should get you pretty near.” Margaret Thatcher, Prime Minister of the United Kingdom

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SWEET DREAMS, Baby