They say the road to success is always under construction. By that measure downtown Portales is a bigger success than we ever dreamed.
By my count we’re in our 16th month of a road project to rebuild U.S. 70 through Portales. The original plan was the project would be done this month. The project won’t be done this month. The state and the construction company say it will be mostly done in November. When I repeated that completion date the other day some smart aleck asked me November of what year.
For the last month we’ve had construction literally at our door at the Chamber office where I work. The only time the proximity has been really bad was the day they were running a tamping machine and the harmonic vibrations almost dumped my computer monitor on the floor.
After I secured the important things wandering around my desk like an air hockey game and leaned back it was a bit like a magic fingers massage.
Since the construction got to the downtown area we’ve all become experts at navigating through construction zones. We all know that whatever street was closed as we go to lunch will be open when we get back but something else will be closed down.
We’re all determined to park as close as we can to our destination so we drive in circles and dodge between orange cones to get just a little closer. Even going the wrong way on a one-way street these days isn’t seen as a deadly traffic infraction.
We’ve all learned the value of having a back door in our businesses and we’ve come to appreciate customers who don’t mind seeking that door out or tramping through a construction zone to get inside.
We griped about how bad the main road through town was for years and years. Milk and grain trucks pushed up ruts eight inches high at stop signs. This street condition caused a person to stagger across the street like Otis Campbell looking for the Mayberry jail.
Water ponding and constant patching of potholes had turned us all grouchy over the years. So now we only have a few more months to bear up under the construction and all those gripes will be gone.
The people of Portales and our visitors have kept good humor through the construction. My hat is off to everyone for their support of our businesses.
In the meantime, to our visitors and newcomers please pardon our mess. To our residents: Keep up the support for local business. And to the construction crews: keep up the hard work — that desk-side massage really isn’t that great.
Karl Terry writes for Clovis Media Inc. Contact him at: firstname.lastname@example.org