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Like a movie I-10 work gives commuters lots to look at

Citizen Staff Writer
My Tucson

I can’t imagine what my commute to work will be like when the Interstate 10 widening is completed.

Since the project started nearly two years ago, I’ve seen something new each day I drive through.

I’ll admit I was resentful at first. I had no enthusiasm for delays in construction zones and having to pay attention while driving.

Yes, it’s true, many trips down the freeway had been on autopilot. Sorry, and I have reformed, thanks to the great entertainment we’ve been treated to at every stoplight along the frontage roads.

I have the same great idea every day as I’m waiting at an intersection: Grab my kids, pack a lunch and go find a spot out of the way somewhere to watch this great orchestration of construction.

What magnificent machinery! The great rumbling of trucks and their motors. And these men in their glass boxes scooping up steel buckets of dirt while precariously perched on the banks of the old highway.

My favorite to watch is the making of the massive concrete pillars.

At first there’s no telling what it will be, since everything seems to start with a lot of rebar.

Sometimes it takes several trips back and forth to work before I see it taking shape. And because there are so many pillars, I’ve seen them “grow” at different stages.

The last one was covered with a tarp all night while the concrete sat in the form. With the stadium lights focused on it, I thought it must be a sculpture they were about to unveil.

In a way, with the fossil-like medallions on them, they are like sculptures. Function with some culture and art.

Another personal reform is that I no longer underestimate construction workers. These men and women are out there day and night.

Obviously, a lot of planning went into this project, but I can see the need for great communicating, too.

Sometimes at the light I watch for someone who might be the ringleader of this three-ring circus.

Never do I see anyone who stands out as the “boss.” Everyone is working independently or in teams, yet everyone is working together.

One morning (at a stoplight of course), I watched about five men in hard hats and orange safety vests stretching together.

I couldn’t tell which one was leading the others, but they were all in sync.

I wasn’t exactly staring at these men (though their shapes were just fine). I was just wondering if this was how all great teams should start their day. They’re definitely having some great progress.

I do have a special request, though. Instead of those digital signs advising me which intersection will be closed next, can those be used to describe what we’re watching while we’re parked at the intersection?

Or to tell how much concrete is used for each pillar or whose idea was it to decorate the walls with the different motifs? Like a menu of the day’s events or a rotating public service message.

I know someday this will all end, and we will be back to the commuter routes we knew best. But in the meantime, I’m enjoying the whole project and the awesome entertainment everyone working there has provided.

At least we have something exciting to watch while we’re waiting for the light to turn green!

Nancy McKinney is a mother of four swell children, grandmother to a swell granddaughter and one more on the way! She works for the state and is a student at Pima College. E-mail: n_k_saint@hotmail.com

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