Tuesday, January 09, 2007

Bad roads

It looks like Louisiana's roads were graded by an outfit that does such things.
Frank Moretti, director of policy and research for The Road Information Program, said Monday that Louisiana's highway death rate was 40 percent higher than the national average for every 100 million miles of travel.
Yeah, we've got bad roads. We've known that for years and the answer is a big push in road construction the likes of which we haven't seen since Huey P. Long. As a matter of fact, many of the roads we use in North Louisiana still show the pavement marks from when the Kingfish was building roads.
Nearly half of Louisiana's roads and highways are in such poor shape that the entire system also got an F, Moretti said. Other highway factors, such as bridges, road congestion and the way roads are funded, got only slightly better grades.
No doubt about it, we need better roads. Parts of I-12 will jar you pretty badly, too, as will parts of I-10.

The major excuse why our roads are so bad is that most of them are built on or across swamps. It's tough building a road in a swamp.

I motorcycle. Motorcyclists notice road conditions before automobile drivers notice road conditions. When you have only two wheels to get you to a destination, the condition of the road is twice as important.

The worst road I ever traveled over was I40, out of Memphis, TN, headed toward Little Rock. When I crossed the bridge out of Memphis, the road started jarring my teeth. Each individual strip of pavement was misaligned with the other and the KATHUMP, KATHUMP, KATHUMP went on for mile after mile after mile. Each expansion joint jarred the bike and the torture went on for a hundred miles. After fifteen minutes, I thought I was going to lose my mind. After a half-hour I was glad I wasn't losing parts.

Had I been on a Harley Davidson, the bike would have rattled down to a pile of parts.

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