Sampson Independent

Road work may try our nerves, but it’s still a good thing

Nothing, it seems, comes easy. And even the positives in life often come with a necessity for patience.

That is where we are in Sampson County right now, as we experience a great many positive projects that will make travel in, around and through our communities better for residents and passers-by.

But the work doesn’t come without its own set of issues, most of which falls squarely on travelers who are being asked to show patience and tolerance for the one thing that uses it up the quickest — a giving of one’s time.

If you have had to travel U.S. 701 from Garland to Clinton for the past few weeks, you know exactly what we’re talking about. The trip hasn’t been easy, and it certainly hasn’t been quick, with Department of Transportation crews hard at work paving a 20-mile stretch of the road.

Work has progressed such that only in Clinton is the road tying folks up right now, and that, too, will soon improve, with officials promising, barring bad weather, a completion by month’s end.

We should be happy that infrastructure work is under way on so many of our roads here in Sampson. That’s progress and investment, both of which help to attract businesses, industry and people to our wonderful communities.

It’s not unusual for us to use this page to urge DOT to help us with road construction needs, stoplight and the like, so having so much work going on at one time should be reason for gratitude.

Yet the motoring public has been frustrated, writing and calling about the slow traffic and all the road construction seemingly going on at one time across Sampson, bringing travel to a crawl if not, in some cases, a virtual halt.

With the N.C. 24 project still meaning a trip down Sunset will take far longer than one would want and a maneuvering around barrels that isn’t always easy, particularly at night, the consensus has seemed to be that construction on U.S. 701 and U.S. 13 should have waited.

At least that way we could get around a little bit, was the thought of one caller recently.

As frustrating as all the construction work is, and has been, truthfully we appreciate the work that is currently being done.

Yes it ties up traffic; yes it means more time in the car waiting; yes it means leaving earlier or arriving late; and yes it means giving up precious time for something that isn’t all that palatable in an already overly busy day. But look at what is being accomplished.

When the work is complete, we will have shorter travel time to Fayetteville and points west along N.C. 24, the ride will be smoother and the roads will look amazing (in places it already does). The same is true along U.S. 701 and 13. When the motor-graders leave and the workers head off to parts unknown, the roads we travel in northern Sampson and along the route from Clinton to Elizabethtown will be less harsh on our vehicles and more conducive to easy travel.

In addition, over $25 million will have been spent in Sampson providing improvements that we have desperately needed.

Yes it would have been nice to have seen these projects done at different times to make travel a little less aggravating, but we’ll take the work when we can get it, and we are thankful for it.

Motorists should be too.

So the next time you are tied up on 701, 13 or 24, instead of merely drumming your hands impatiently on the steering wheel while you wait, think for a moment about the investment that has been made in a county we love, and whisper a prayer of thanks that DOT officials recognized our need and have actually done something to meet it now rather than later.