What we think: There's no working around the bypass

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By The Staff

Were you surprised to see last week that the contractors responsible for the Shelbyville Bypass didn’t start work on the first day they were supposed to work?

We certainly weren’t.

We also stress that April 1 – a lovely spring day, you recall – was the first day the Kay and Kay Construction was required to work based on its “working-days” contract with the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet, which gives it almost carte blanche to determine which days are really for working.

And Heaven forbid Kay and Kay have the initiative to take advantage of our early spring and mild end to winter to get a jump start on a project that they and state officials have allowed to languish into its fourth year.

As we remind often: That’s about a mile a year for a 4.5-mile stretch of road.

By comparison, it took workers six years to build the 1,776-mile Transcontinental Railroad that was completed in 1869.

That would be roughly 296 miles per year.

We’re not sure, but we believe that construction was a bit more manual and difficult. At least they didn’t have to build overpasses, though they did have to build over mountain passes.

But it appears safe to say that if Kay and Kay had been building that railroad under the sort of contract it has for the bypass, covered wagons and horses would have been the primary mode of intercontinental transportation well into the 20th century.

Speaking of horses, we get tired of beating this one that is long past its days in the pasture. We also get tired of lame excuses and pledges and of waiting for this road to open to ease our traffic problems.

Shelbyville Mayor Tom Hardesty illustrated that point best when he said that all you have to do is “drive down Midland Trail about 5 p.m. to see how much this road is needed.”

We’re sure, too, that developers who have invested in property along the bypass and at its intersections are long since weary of paying the interest on funds they can’t recoup.

We’re sure that you get very tired of seeing concrete poured near major intersections and not being able to drive on it.

And we also fear that this last portion of construction will be even worse for the public because it will cause traffic changes/delays/tie-ups at the places where the bypass intersects with our primary traffic arteries (i.e. U.S. 60, KY 55 and KY 53).

Yes, we’re very tired of all of this. And, as usual with this project, we know that does not matter.

The contract is in ink, and the money is being paid. Kay and Kay will work when it wants.

Yes, we’re tired of all of this.

Let’s just get the road open, please.