Nearly 25 years ago, my daughter and I were driving to Vermont.  We were traveling on Interstate 87 along the western shore of Lake Champlain.  You drive through northern New York State until you get to the old Revolutionary War site at Crown Point.  From there, a bridge takes you across the lake to Vermont.

It was just past 11:00 a.m. and we noticed lights ahead.  Floodlights.  These were being used to illuminate road construction.  The state was doing the work after hours when fewer drivers were on the roads.  The policy had been adopted after a proposal from a candidate named Howard Stern.  Yes, that Howard Stern.  He had been a Libertarian Party candidate for Governor, and he was sick of being delayed during daytime construction.

I thought about the policy last week as I drove to Burley for a Chamber of Commerce luncheon.  At one point I drove at 12 miles per hour on the Interstate for seven miles.  On my return trip, I noticed eastbound traffic was at a standstill.  There was paving underway at a construction site.

State Legislators from District 27.
State Legislators from District 27.

At the luncheon, there were three state legislators in attendance.  I asked if off-peak construction was a possibility.  The idea has been floated before, according to Senator Kelly Anthon.  He explained it’s a challenge to even find an available contractor.  Labor and material shortages have Idaho in competition for resources with neighboring states.  Institute night-time construction and contractors are likely to make Idaho a low priority.

Representative Clay Handy pointed out that Idaho has seen some nasty accidents in construction zones, and he fears it could even be worse at night.

Is there a solution to the delays?  Yes, patience.  Or Route 30 as an alternative between Burley and Twin Falls.

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