C’mon? How could it not be correct? I read it in black-on-white on a page of an entirely fake-news-free paper.

Yes, long suffering motorists, it seems the horrific stretch of Hwy 34 from the York County line west to Aurora will get some attention at last.

You know all about the shattered chunk of what was once a highway of which I speak, don’t you? Sure you do. Who among us hasn’t experienced it’s unique torture.

When a piece of highway gets so deteriorated the state itself acknowledges the problem by lowering the speed limit you know the situation is bad.

Now far be it from me to slip a shiv between the Nebraska Department of Roads’ bureaucratic ribs. Lord knows those folks are up against it something fierce, caught as they are in the crossfire between a boat load of too-long-deferred projects (blame the Unicameral and a couple/three governors for that, not the NDOR) and the paralyzing state budget struggles of late.

For yet another example of ‘long deferred” I offer the expansion of Hwy 81 to divided four lane from York to Columbus. That specific project first appeared in the fiscal 1867-1888 highway budget of David Christy Butler, Nebraska’s very first governor. It has been pushed back every year since. I’m pretty sure I read this fact somewhere, or perhaps it came to me in a dream.

There is no hope for Hwy 81 and it’s now clear there never was, at least in the real world. But take heart beleaguered friends and neighbors, suddenly there’s an outside chance those of us still alive come fall may actually have seen this annoying piece of Hwy 34 made right with our very own eyes.

Now wouldn’t that be something?

My fondness for fishing the Upper Big Blue NRD’s Pioneer Trails lake north of Aurora has exponentially ramped-up the utterance of words my sweet Mama didn’t teach me as I’ve dragged my poor boat - rattling, bouncing, scattering bolts, screws and shrapnel everywhere - from east of Hampton to the bridge on the near edge of Aurora.

I have actually towed the thing on the interstate a few times, such was the desperation to avoid those few nasty miles.

This very evening (Friday) in fact, Good Wife Norma and I will meet our running buddies of almost 50 years, Steve and Bernie Marshall from St. Edward, for a 6 p.m. dinner extraordinaire at Prairie Creek Winery in downtown Central City.

For all our years in York save the last two our or so, our route to Central City has been Hwy 34 to Aurora then north. Fact is we never thought about an alternate route. No reason to.

Not so anymore.

Happily for the Marshalls and Moseleys this great place to eat and sip is almost equidistant from they live to where we live. So for that fact alone we’ve been there a several times; but now we always go via Hwy 81 north to Cross County High School, then west through Polk.

There was but one reason we began using that route. That one reason is the reduction to near-rubble of the aforementioned jeep trail section of Hwy 34.

But that was then and this is now. Crews are to begin soon if I correctly remember what I think I maybe read.

Memo to the contractor: Please, for the love of God, deploy all your resources, launch a full-on assault and … Attack! Attack! Attack!

For my part I pledge not to whine, cuss, fidget in my seat and pound the dash when you demand I sit dead still for 10 minutes (don’t even think about 15), motor burning $2.50-plus fuel behind a sun-baked flagman (or lady as the case may be).

But fair warning; if you dilly-dally too long wrapping things up my legendary endless patience might be tested. Believe me, you don’t want that.

I figure a couple weeks should get the job done. Maybe three if it rains for a week.


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