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Stuck in the Mud! Adventures in Highway Construction

A few days after the torrential Memorial Day rains I decided it was time to update the pictures on our web site. So I hopped into my trusty MoPac Man mobile and headed down the median of MoPac.

Inner-Tube

Abandoned inner tube in median of MoPac.

I entered near Parmer Lane heading south and wound my way around numerous obstacles, including an inflatable plastic tube used for lounging in the pool or floating down the Guadalupe. That should have been an ominous warning sign, but I pressed on taking pictures along the way.

As I approached Anderson Lane, I observed a significant amount of wet ground ahead, so I stopped to investigate. Heading back north at that point wasn’t easy. So I contemplated the repercussions of forging on, put the vehicle in first gear and gunned it. As I reached the halfway point, I began to panic. The car had slowed, and I could feel the wheels spinning helplessly below me. As the car ground to a halt, reality began to set in. I was stuck, and I was about to endure a whole heap of ridicule from the guys and gals who actually get dirt on their hard hats and construction vests.

MoPac Man Stuck in Mud

MoPac Man Mobile Stuck in Mud.

Within hours of getting marooned in the median, pictures of my predicament were circulating to inboxes everywhere. That afternoon, as my car continued to sink deeper into the ground, I sat in a project meeting. With mud still dripping from my boots, I endured the embarrassment of project managers circulating a picture of my car. They warned everyone that there was still a lot of mud from the recent rains and to be careful. It was also noted that my car, with construction lights still flashing, would probably be out there in the middle of MoPac all night long.

Fortunately, a sympathetic member of our team came to my rescue and managed to tow me out. With my ego bruised, but my sense of humor intact, I looked to the bright side. I realized a blog topic had been born. And just between you and me, I’ll defend my honor a lit bit and let you in on an industry secret. The real construction dudes and dudettes actually get their vehicles stuck too. In fact, I wasn’t the first person to get stuck following the Memorial Day storms. But, with my shiny clean safety vest and gleaming white hard hat, I was the perfect target for office fodder.

Since there should be a point to my blog, I will let you know that mud is actually a real problem on construction jobs. We are required by environmental laws to implement a program to prevent soil from washing into nearby streams. That black material you may see strung up along MoPac is something called silt fence. After a heavy rain, it’s supposed to trap all that dirt and mud. And those rocks you see around some areas of the project are to help knock the dirt off of tires before vehicles re-enter MoPac. It’s all part of a concerted effort to protect water quality.

So what did I learn from all of this? If you’re going tubing, make sure to properly secure your tube, so it doesn’t blow out of your car and end up as an eyesore in the median of MoPac.

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