What $10 million per mile buys you

The steep slope with projecting rocks bothered me at first when I learned to drive. In time I understood they were not going to jump out and hit me.

They got somebody. A drunk driver killed herself and her kids. The road got new warning signs for people who can see yellow signs but can’t see rocks and hills. Route 133 moved into the funding pipeline. A decade later, the federal government is spending millions to rebuild it. It’s Connecticut DOT project 0016-0098 if you want to keep score.

For $10 million, one mile of rural road will get a six foot clear space on the uphill side, backed by a retaining wall or smooth rock cut instead of an uneven slope with projecting rocks.

The curves will be gentler.

Can we go faster once the road is better?

The plans call for the 35 mph speed limit to be retained. By Connecticut DOT policy, we the people are not allowed to request it be reviewed. Only the First Selectman’s opinion counts.

There’s no place for a speed trap, so maybe the answer is “yes,” but only through the winding section. Once you get to the south end and the road opens up there’s room for a police car to park. You may have to slow down when you should be speeding up.

That’s typical. During rush hour on the highway you can speed at will. On a winding road with narrow shoulders you can floor it. In light traffic, on a straight, wide road, that’s when you get busted.

It’s a strange incentive our enforcement policies create, we make you slow down when you should be speeding up.

But the alternative is setting honest speed limits, and that’s not going to happen.

The opinions expressed in this post belong to the author and do not necessarily represent those of the National Motorists Association or the NMA Foundation. This content is for informational purposes and is not intended as legal advice. No representations are made regarding the accuracy of this post or the included links.

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One Response to “What $10 million per mile buys you”

  1. John Carr says:

    A Bridgewater resident informed me the actual project cost came in under the $10 million early estimate, more like $6 million. The apparent low bid for construction work was less than $6 million, but there was substantial engineering cost to design the project and possibly right of way (taking or easement) expenses.