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Oh, the joys of construction season

Tried to pay your light bill lately? In person, I mean.
Well, if you are looking for an adventure, try walking to the Municipal Light Plant. I dare you.
I did it last week after dropping my car off at Harpel’s and walking back downtown. I had tried to drive to the Light Plant before dropping the car off, but I was stopped at every intersection. The streets were torn up and blocked off from all directions, except along Armstrong Avenue, which I didn’t think of at the time.
So on to Harpel’s I went. On the walk back I debated how best to get to the Light Plant on foot.
I walked along 10th Street, veered into the street to navigate around the reconstruction work on Ford Avenue, dodged a few cars, and then took a right onto Elliott Avenue.
Once the train passed by, I could see road work ahead, so I took a shortcut over the railroad tracks and walked along the fence abutting Arrow Building Center.
On the way I spotted the back of a sign (not a stop sign this time). When I went past, I looked back and it said “Private Property TC&W.” The only thing missing on the sign was trespassers will be prosecuted. That would have made my day!
Eventually I made it to 11th Street and the Light Plant, now denuded of all trees along the street.
Then I noticed barricades up at the Chandler Avenue intersection with 11th Street. A block north, the intersection with 12th Street was all torn up, too.
“So how do you make it to work?” I asked the Light Plant receptionist. She just gave me a shrug and a smile. Then she added that 11th Street in front of the Light Plant will be torn up next. Oh, joy!
“I’ll just mail my check in next month,” I told her.
Later that same day, my wife and I decided to walk to the Dairy Queen for ice cream. We took 10th Street because of my earlier experience.
While we were sitting at one of the outside benches, we saw a jacked-up pickup come roaring up Chandler from the south and sailing off the two-foot drop off in front of the Dairy Queen. Apparently the driver didn’t see all the barricades, the flashing lights or the big drop off at that end of the street. Hard to miss.
Needless to say, the irate driver proceeded to spin his wheels, kicking up dust and gravel on all the outdoor diners as he sped farther north on Chandler only to be stopped near the railroad tracks by more construction. Apparently the first jolt into the construction zone was not enough warning.
Shortly, he came roaring back south on Chandler past the Dairy Queen again kicking up more dust and dirt. Then he hit the drop off going the other way.
Not sure what he was thinking at that point … but it sure wasn’t straight.
He went back over the drop off and bounced onto 10th Street heading east. I think the smoke coming out of his ears was as thick as the smoke from his exhaust pipe.
Meanwhile, we had a little extra granular substance in our dairy treats. Nothing goes better with ice cream than a little gravel.
Rich Glennie was the editor of The Chronicle for 23 years. He retired Aug. 1, 2014.