Ah … road construction. Don’t you just love it?

A major rebuild of King Street (Highway 3) in Delhi is underway. The $3.9 million project will impact traffic in the Mill/Talbot streets area to Main Street until later this year. Sidewalks will be available for pedestrian traffic. ASHLEY TAYLOR/Delhi News-Record jpg, DN

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And to think we get to enjoy the churning up of King Street in Delhi until November. I know it’s a necessary evil, but it’s a pain in the you-know-where until the job’s completed. It’s going to be a long three months.

I thought traversing the turned up Head Street in Simcoe on my way to and from work was bad enough, but that’s a picnic by comparison to what’s happening on King Street. I can easily avoid Head Street if I remember to do so. Unfortunately, driving the same route day after day becomes a habit, and it’s not until I make the turn onto Stanley Street that I realize, “Crap, I have to navigate around that bulldozer.”

Things aren’t going to be so simple in Delhi. As it stood last Thursday, westbound traffic on Highway 3 had to turn either left or right onto Queen Street to get past the construction zone. A left or right-hand turn onto Main Street was no longer an option, but that didn’t stop some vehicles from slipping past the “road closed” sign that was erected at the intersection of King and Queen. While picking up a takeout at the sub shop, I watched a transport truck slip past the sign and make its way to the barricade at King and Main. I had no idea where the driver planned to go, and I didn’t stick around long enough to see how he got out of his predicament.

This will undoubtedly be a nightmare for some of the businesses in the area, and traffic along such secondary roads as Talbot will be much more congested. I waited much longer than normal to make a left turn onto Talbot from Main the day before the intersection of King and Main was closed off. And this was during off hours.

Delhi-to-Tillsonburg commuting might be less of a headache by traveling along Mall Road, but that can be a wacky drive some days, especially after dark. I once experienced a wild turkey getting airborne enough to “fly” into my driver’s side window as I was climbing up one of the road’s many hills. Thankfully the window was rolled up at the time or I might not be around today to write this.

Western Avenue, Mill Street and Talbot Road will be seeing much more traffic for a while as improvements to King Street continue to be made. I’m glad I don’t reside on either of those streets. There will be some significant inconvenience for those in Delhi who wish to do their banking, access the health centre and make their way to Tillsonburg and Highway 59 North.

It’s one of these grin-and-bear-it situations we have to face every so many years, but we need to shrug off the short-term pain in anticipation of the long-term gain. But, boy oh boy, there’s going to be some serious short-term pain to endure.

I don’t know how this is going to affect the Fall Fest parade, but I’m sure an alternate route has been planned. As long as everything remains on schedule, the Santa Claus parade in early December shouldn’t be impacted.

Nevertheless, the middle of November can’t come soon enough.

Mike Jiggens is a Delhi resident

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