The first icy, snowy day in the Seminole community this winter season, I plan on taking off from the offices at the Seminole Sentinel.
Not because I dislike the weather and would stay inside the comfort of my home, binge watching a Netflix series or watching a sporting event of some sort.
My plans are this: to shut down the southbound lane of traffic of U.S. 62/385 — or the Seagraves Hwy. — from, lets say, the 1300 block through the 500 block.
What I have in mind is simple: to open up Seminole’s own ski resort.
Let me further explain.
You see — and I am sure many of you have experienced — that portion of Seminole’s busiest roadway is in deplorable shape. With deep ruts and unforgiving bumps, one trip through a stretch of that roadway at the recommended speed limit makes me want to pull into the nearest tire shop and request a full alignment and balance of my tires. And, a check of my shocks and struts.
So, with those ruts and bumps in mind, I want to open up that stretch of roadway for those local and area skiers. I’d like to offer a chance for those who wish to attend, a chance to slide on down the natural slope, to face those challenging ruts and bumps — or as I envision them — Olympic-level ski moguls and jumps.
And, if I could make a little money on the side, that wouldn’t be that bad either.
In seriousness though, I know I am not the only Seminole area resident who wishes to see this portion of U.S. 62/385 refurbished. It’s a disgrace to our community that our own area Texas Dept. of Transportation officials — not those here locally, but the higher-ups within this region — haven’t addressed this issue in a timely manner.
Now, I know many of you are saying: “Well, Mr. Wright, they did do something a while back on it.”
Yes, TxDOT crews did do some work on the roadway recently in an attempt to correct the issue. However the work didn’t work. In fact, in this writer’s opinion, I think the roadway issue has worsened.
Regional TxDOT officials: It is time for you to address this issue. I know I am not the only person to have noticed this issue, but I am one to step up and state my case for or against something I stand for. And, I’m sure I am speaking for a number of folks here in our community when I say, please address this issue immediately and make it right.
It’s pretty sad — and comical at the same time — to be traveling on that stretch of the roadway and see cars veer immediately from the damaged left-hand lane of traffic over to the right. Especially when vehicles get into the midst of the damaged area.
You can tell, while driving, who the veteran road travelers are by whether they moved from the right to the left lane prior to arriving near the damaged area.
Now, I know there are a lot of monetary issues taking place within TxDOT at this time. It’s been an issue that has been at hand for years.
And, I know Gaines County is on the low end of the totem pole within our region, especially in comparison to the mammoth Marsha Sharp Freeway project taking place in Lubbock.
But preventative maintenance and repairs of aging roadways during the course of all this should still remain a key focus of TxDOT, and I personally feel this isn’t the case.
I hope to be proven otherwise in the not to distant future, however, I am not going to hold my breath in waiting for that to happen.
In the mean time, I am going to plan on how to design my mogul and ski jump course for that stretch of the roadway, and put all my hope toward a nice snow event — unlike Winter Storm Goliath of last year — in hopes of providing some free entertainment (and maybe picking up a few extra bucks here and there) at the expense of TxDOT’s failure to repair the roadway.
By Dustin Wright
Sentinel Managing Editor
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