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Living close to work is ideal.
I have been a commuter and you can have it.
Typically, the drive from house to office takes about five minutes. It’s even quicker if the single traffic signal along the route decides to cooperate. That’s not enough time to hear two country songs, which explains while I’m no longer in tune with music coming out of Nashville.
But things have been different the past six months. It began with avoiding paving work and inconveniences related to the much-appreciated resurfacing of the U.S. 31W Bypass. Then news came that College Street Road would close.
That’s when detours became essential. Since then, I’ve gotten more familiar with Leitchfield Road, Langley Trace, Gates Road, Charlemagne Boulevard and St. John Road. I’ve monitored progress of the E’town Sports Park through the car window while driving the new portion of West Park Road on any trip to points north. On weekends, the parking lots of Elizabethtown Community and Technical College have provided a short cut.
The work was unnoticed by many Hardin County residents. But in one little corner of the world, it was a frustrating inconvenience.
Living close to work, coming home for lunch is a reasonable option. One day this summer, the trip back to work became a series of barriers. First came the discovery that St. John Road was being resurfaced. Turn around. Retraced my path. A new frustration because traffic was stalled with a fender-bender blocking access to U.S. 62.
It was like living in a maze with no cheese.
The five-minute path blocked by construction ultimately became a 30-minute commute.
But finally, late Thursday night the most direct route from home to work reopened. The barriers had been pushed aside. The new bridge was complete and College Street Road available again.
The discovery provided a surge of excitement and a sense of freedom. Oh, the little pleasures of life.
Actually, I also experienced an adrenaline surge Wednesday night. I knew final paving had been delayed by a scheduling conflict and early week showers. Noticing one barrier missing and going west briefly in the eastbound lane, I snuck across by navigating a few sharp dips, which still awaited the final coat of blacktop.
But it’s all done now after nearly 20 weeks of waiting. The work looks new and nice on the surface. The real value is underneath where the bridge replaces an old culvert and should provide some flood relief upstream along the little creek.
And the neighbors and I have something new to add to our Thanksgiving lists this week. Be appreciative of small things such as connectivity and convenience. And be thankful you don’t live near the Sherman Minton Bridge.
Ben Sheroan is editor of The News-Enterprise. He can be reached at (270) 505-1764 or email@example.com.