Another Bout of Hippy-violence

Methinks the time change has made me a bit cranky because once again I’m contemplating hippy-violence. Specifically, as a target for said violence, the individual responsible for the I-35/71 interchange. I want to punch him in the mouth in a friendly peace-loving, hippy kind of way, reserved for highway designers.

First of all, lets time travel a bit – Almost 10 years ago somebody had the bright idea that we should make this particular traffic snarl (and also a major thoroughfare to the soon to be completed airport) into a modern day intersection. Ramps, fly-overs and the like. Collectively we all did a little happy dance. Yeah, happy dance.

Then we waited. And waited. And waited as TXDOT opened new stretches of the streamlined TX71, inch-by-agonizing inch and moved the equivalent of a small moon’s worth of dirt around. Now the ramps appear to be done, and construction has moved off towards the airport.

So to the future. Or the present. Or whatever we want to call today. Today, as I travel up northbound I-35 with the intention of going westbound on 71, do I have a nice clean transition ? A well banked fly over, with a nice view of down town ? Nope. I have an unfinished dukes of hazard ramp (the earthwork but no bridges) and I actually have to go through AN ADDITIONAL TRAFFIC SIGNAL to get back on the freeway. So it now takes me longer to reach my destination.

Apparently, after a little digging, this was always the plan. After ten years of planning and six years of construction all we get is two sets of ramps ? And nowhere can I find how much this thing cost the taxpayers…

I’m taking this as proof positive of a vast right-wing-conspiracy against the progressive denizens of south Austin, to slowly and steadily drive them out of their minds by excessive exposure to traffic congestion and diesel truck exhaust.