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Hurry up and finish the road
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    Some of our readers may know that the newspaper is preparing to launch a daily vodcast (aka online video newscast) in the next couple weeks. We’re calling it Studio Statesboro.
    Not only will the fine citizens of Statesboro get to agree/disagree with me every Friday about my awesome/lame opinion columns, but you’ll get to see me doing the news “on camera” as well.
    You have my pity.
    Anyway, Matt, our new videographer, and I went out to the site of the Statesboro Crossing Tuesday to shoot some video for one of the first vodcast features.
    Now, for those of you who are not from Statesboro and are one of my vast array (13 people) of online readers (Hi Mom), Statesboro Crossing is a new retail development here in town.
    Anchored by a few big-box chain stores like Hobby Lobby, TJ Maxx, Books-A-Million and Rack Room Shoes, the development is slated to be fully operational in October, just in time for the holiday season.
    Merry Christmas. It’s a Rachael Ray cookbook (OK, only for people I don’t like).
    What struck me is how incredibly fast and professional this development is going up. Tell me if I’m wrong (can I stop you?), but I think they only started breaking ground and clearing trees in January — December at the very earliest.
    So in less than three months, they’ve got all the underground plumbing in, have the foundation and a number of cinder-block walls in place and are already starting to put the façade on one of the bigger stores.
    All this despite the fact the weather, though not terrible, has not been particularly favorable over the past few weeks.
    Just to stress the professional part, when we (meaning Matt) packed up the video equipment, one of the construction employees busted out a mini street sweeper, took all the dirt that been carried out into the road near the driveway and pushed it back onto the construction site. Then the powers that be had another worker with a push broom collecting all the dirt that had gathered in the corner of the curb running along Brannen Street in front of the development.
    In other words, they were cleaning up after themselves. Very neighborly.
    This is on top of the fact that the first 50 feet of “driveway” into the construction site is covered with rather large gravel designed to knock the dirt off of the large trucks going in and out of the site (good) as well as truly test the structural stability of any mid-sized sedan entering the site (not as good).
    Bottom line is that the construction process is moving swiftly. Driving by, you can notice structural changes almost everyday.
    After I bumpily left the site, I turned onto Veteran’s Memorial Parkway. I got really, really excited because I saw brand new lines painted on the new portion of the loop. Woo hoo!
    Wait. Is that a double yellow line painted down the middle?
    Now, I have talked to no official representative of the Georgia Department of Transportation (also known as the three-toed sloth of state agencies), but I surmise that the double yellow means they’re getting ready to move all the traffic onto the new part of the road while they do something to the portion currently in use.
    A new coat of asphalt, I guess. Some new curbs, maybe. Perhaps a pedicure and a seaweed wrap.
    Actually, I don’t really care what the double hockey sticks they’re going to do, just do it more than one day a week. Maybe the DOT gave up road-building for Lent.
    For Pete’s sake, when the piles of leftover dirt have weeds that have grown over three feet tall, you know things are moving at a slow pace.
    Where are the illegals when you need them?
    Ultimately what I’m getting at is this: perhaps we should let the construction company handling Statesboro Crossing take a whack at building the loop. I don’t care if they even know how to build roads. They could probably go to road building school, build their equipment by hand and still have the road finished before the state gets their act together.
    In the Beatles’ song “Long and Winding Road,” they wrote, “To the long and winding road....Don’t leave me waiting here.” I’d like to say the same thing to the DOT.
    Phil Boyum would like to take a moment to warn all Prius owners: for your safety, please stay away from the Statesboro Crossing driveway. Your car may not survive. He may be reached at (912) 489-9454.

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