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Tolling Points

Trick or Treat -- Beware That Creaking Infrastructure When You're Out for Halloween

Bill Cramer

A two-year-old post on America’s infrastructure crisis from U.S. news satire site The Onion tells exactly the spooky, scary story the transportation community will be looking for ahead of Halloween celebrations this Thursday.

“Tossing and turning while the noise continued virtually unabated, the nation was kept up all night by the incessant sound of its creaking infrastructure,” the publication reported, in an article dated July 20, 2017.

“I honestly couldn’t tell if it was coming from the power lines down the block or the overpass a few miles away but, holy moly, that was rough,” Portsmouth, NH resident John Laslow told The Onion in a hypothetical interview. “I mean, I’d doze off when the racket stopped for a second, but then I’d get woken up all over again by something else—squeaky cables from the suspension bridges in the region, dripping at a water treatment facility, or this scraping sound I think was coming from the interstate railway network.”

“Oh well,” he added, in a fit of boundless optimism. “ I’m sure they’ll send out workers to fix this soon.”

The Onion said Laslow was “echoing the sentiments of all 323 million Americans, many of whom reportedly attempted in vain to muffle the groans, squeals, and clattering from the nation’s public works system by wrapping a pillow around their ears.”

So, if you’re out on the road this Thursday evening, please be sure to check your tire pressure and pack an emergency kit before you go. Pay special attention to short people dressed as goblins, jack-o’-lanterns, or vaguely familiar Internet stars who might be only barely visible in your headlights. And, no texting while driving.

If you happen to hear a bunch of unexplained creaks, squeaks, or scrapes…spare a thought for the funding and financing mechanism that is helping the country clear a daunting infrastructure backlog!


Newsletter publish date: 
Tuesday, October 29, 2019 - 11:45


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