Bypass the problem

By Frank Lewis -



I can’t promise you this scenario ever took place, but I believe it did, mainly in my imagination. There’s a guy named “Steve,” and a guy named “Bob,” and they are Ohio bureaucrats who have spent their entire lives in Columbus and Cleveland, respectively. They are plagued by a syndrome that occurs to nearly every Columbus area politician – they get a nosebleed if they go south of Columbus, so they prefer to stay in the confines of the capital, and pretend they know everything about the state.

One day they are sitting in one of the offices you pay for with your tax dollars, sipping on double lattes and reminiscing.

Steve – “Remember when we had to drive to Scioto County?”

Bob – “I never thought I’d recover. We were able to shut down the Youth Services facility in Franklin Furnace so we don’t ever have to drive to that part of the state again.”

Steve – “Talk about a nightmare, I had to go there twice last year. Ever driven through Portsmouth where you have to stop at every traffic light because their system is designed to impede traffic flow?”

Bob – “Yeah, and when you go through Portsmouth and into New Boston, you can count on one of the lanes to be closed at all times.”

Steve – “I did see a bright spot in employment, after all someone has to put out hundreds of orange barrels. It’s a job.”

Bob – “I thought the bottom of my car was going to come off on the roadway on 11th Street. It was bump after bump.”

Steve – “How do you suppose we could put an end to ever having to drive there again?”

Bob – “Got it! It may sound crazy, but what if we built a road that completely bypassed Portsmouth and New Boston?”

Steve – “That would cost hundreds of millions of dollars, maybe even a billion, do you actually think they would ever go for that?”

Bob – “We could tell the people there it means, uh…economic development! That’s it…economic development!”

Steve – “It’s worth a try.”

I am not sure if that ever really took place, but the other day when I was driving by the hundreds of orange barrels limiting the driving to one lane, and then found out the left lane was closed again on Walnut Street, I thought – that imaginary scenario may not be as preposterous as it sounds.


By Frank Lewis

Reach Frank Lewis at 740-353-3101, ext 1928.

Reach Frank Lewis at 740-353-3101, ext 1928.