by Chris Haire
Back in the fall, we found out our house had termites.
It was horrible. They had eaten their way down a beam on one side of the house and about halfway up another.
Equally horrific, in order to repair all the damage — and kill all those the termites — the Haire household was going to have to shell out thousands and thousands of dollars.
Which we did.
Except that it wasn't on repairing the damage.
We bought a brand new 60-inch flat screen TV.
And a cruise to Jamaica.
And an iPad for me and another for the wife.
And then we blew a whole shit-ton on booze. Lots and lots of booze.
OK. We didn't do that. We're responsible adults after all. We know that no matter how much we'd like to rent a cabin in Asheville for the weekend, if the AC's broke, well, fixing that is the priority, no matter how much of a drag it is. You fix the fuckups before you move on to having fun.
Evidently, the city of Charleston doesn't think like this.
In fact, they've decided they'd rather spend $10 million to beautify the Crosstown instead of putting that money aside to fix the roadway's flooding issues. Dumb, right?
What's even dumber is that according to the Post and Courier, the city plans to shut down the Crosstown from six to four lanes for six frikkin months, beginning in this December. And exactly what does that beautification project entail? The P&C reports:
Building a new landscaped median down the center of the Septima Clark Parkway, as that section of U.S. Highway 17 is officially known, along with new curbs, sidewalks and crossing improvements.
Repaving the road and adding an "intelligent transportation system" involving traffic-monitoring cameras.
Cleaning and repairing storm-drain systems, and adding 5,500 feet of new storm-drain piping. Benefits will be limited until the new tunnels and pumps needed to remove stormwater from the system are built.
But here's the rub, according to the P&C:
City officials say the work is the initial phase of an estimated $146 million plan to eliminate persistent flooding problems, but the deep tunnels and pumping station needed for the drainage work have not been funded, and there's no telling when they might be.
Let me get this straight, the city plans to beautify the area — putting in new sidewalks, new curbs, and a new landscaped median — before embarking on a $146 million construction project, one that will likely involve tearing up a substantial portion all of those new sidewalks and curbs and medians that make up the $10 beautification project.
And instead of inconveniencing drivers that use the Crosstown during one construction project, the city plans to do it at least twice.