For those of you not in Chicago, there is a major construction project on a major highway heading into the city. An entire bridge is being replaced, and if I understand correctly, the plan was for the road shutdown and detour to require only three weekends. This is the story. Suburbanites were warned:
- You really don’t want to go into the city this weekend.
- If you do want to go into the city this weekend, take public transportation.
- If you don’t want to take public transportation, plan on major delays.
This morning, a friend posted on Facebook that he had to be in the city for a work thing and he cruised right in. Such that he was an hour and a half early for his project. Then I switched over to Twitter and saw this:
This isn’t someone I follow, but the Chicago Tribune re-tweeted it.
Now, I suppose that Ms. Manchir could have been referring to people in the passenger seat, or assuming that traffic was at a dead standstill – which she would know wasn’t true if she’d turned on a radio this morning – but I was bothered. I hit Reply and politely requested that Michelle Manchir and the Chicago Tribune not encourage the people that text and drive. I went about my day, but checked back on it later. Seems it was still bothering me. The Tweet was still there (don’t know why I thought it wouldn’t be), and it looks like this reporter spent the day tracking the #Carmageddon story. That wasn’t much of a story.
Incidentally, a few more people posted negative responses to the Tweet. The snarkiest was:
Which I am ashamed to say made me smirk. Then I went to my niece Ainslie’s baseball game this afternoon and the coach’s wife was saying that they went downtown this morning for their other son’s event and cruised right in (although the ride back was pretty bad). Another mother said that she also drove into the city that morning and didn’t have any trouble. And now ABC News is reporting that the project is ahead of schedule. It is a good news day!
Want to see a great tweet about the I-94 construction?
Instead of trying to surface the cranky weekend commuters, I hope someone is doing a story on how a construction project of this magnitude gets done in such a short time frame with minimal disruption. There are already some great pictures out there. How much planning it takes for engineers and logistics people. How that fine made its way into the contract. How many people working how many hours.
Knock on something, because it isn’t done yet. But this is work that people can be proud of and, in my opinion, a story that a journalist could be proud to write.
Although to be fair, I’m not trying to sell newspapers.