I realize that MNDot and DOT’s around the country are damned if they do and damned if they don’t. We hate road construction but we also hate under-maintained or under-capacity roads. The pain is impossible to avoid.
But I think that people in charge of these projects vastly underestimate the amount of economic potential that they waste because the time that people waste in traffic jams is not on their budget. There is no one at the table looking after the interest of commuters. Especially in these times of high fuel costs, it is irresponsible and negligent to assume that there is no cost associated with inconveniencing drivers. There are very, very high costs — lost productivity, wasted fuel and increased air pollution, not to mention the human cost in terms of stress and reduction of family time.
These people are pissed off about it and they should be. MNDot has made tons of shitty decisions in the wake of the 35W bridge collapse. They completely ignore the impact on drivers of these shitty decisions and we should throw the bums out.
It just cracks me up that on the Internet engineers get woken up by pagers if there is congestion or outages. On the roadways, it is just expected that the system totally breaks down several times per day. It’s unsafe, it reduces the quality of life, it wastes energy and we have to prioritize modernization of our urban roadways. But our governor is too much of an ideological chicken shit to raise the money to get it done.