The road paving on Hwy 72-56 business is just about done and the SC DOT has given us a "curbside parking place."
Not sure what we're supposed to do here - in front of The Clinton Chronicle office - but our guess is, it's going to be a Stop Sign (replacing a yield). This is the former "island" where Hwy 308 intersects Hwy 72-56 - if you take these roads going out of Clinton, you get to I-385 and I-26.
Here's one man's observation of the recent road work in uptown Clinton:
If you read MyClintonNews.com last Wednesday, you noticed that North Broad Street in front of The Chronicle office was a disaster zone. Reports from people who still work there indicate it started Tuesday.
I was there (at The Chronicle) early Wednesday morning – still trying to get rid of 43 years of stockpiling stuff that there is no possible way I’d ever need again.
I had to leave a little after 7 and by the time I got back at 8, traffic was blocked in both directions on North Broad and also Hwy. 308. It was, to say the least, a mess.
I was coming up Willard Road toward The Chronicle and had to stop for 10 minutes until the nice man with the Slow/Stop sign changed his mind from Stop to Slow and motioned me forward.
There were pick up trucks, orange cones, heavy equipment, a water truck, a gradall and that big thing that chews up asphalt all in front of the office. I maneuvered my trusty truck between orange cones (I hit only one of them), across one of the grass medians and quickly into the upper driveway.
I love to watch trucks and heavy equipment so I spent the next hour watching them (thank goodness I’m retired). At one point, I counted 13 men watching one man operate the gradall. I’m happy to report all 13 of them were wearing hardhats and safety vests, making them OSHA compliant if not hard working.
Throughout the day, I had to leave several times to haul off my treasures. It was beyond challenging getting out of the driveway and then back in. I’m sorry to report the hand motions from the friendly traffic directors were confusing.
Once, they motioned me to turn right from Florida Street onto North Broad (in front of the old post office). As soon as I turned, I met a long line of traffic coming toward me. I swerved around the orange cones and gingerly made my way into the Gate parking lot where I waited for the danger to pass.
Late in the afternoon, there were five trucks in The Chronicle’s lower driveway – completely blocking in. Two of the trucks were parked on our grass.
The upper driveway was blocked by a piece of machinery parking in the road, making our business completely inaccessible.
With nothing else to do, I counted 16 men in hard hats watching one guy work. Five of the men wore white hard hats, signifying something. I took them to be supervisors because they didn’t even have a shovel to lean on.
The bosses spent a lot of the time in those trucks blocking our driveway.
I’m glad the DOT is finally repairing our streets (although I think there are needs more pressing than Broad Street, Hwy. 76 and Maple Street near PC). But I think the contractors should be more aware of the disruptions they are causing to people and particularly to businesses.
If you were needed to place a classified ad or hire a criminal defense lawyer last Wednesday, you were SOL.
Until next time,
(Larry Franklin is retired publisher of The Chronicle.)