The Great Sphinx in Egypt was constructed around 2500 BC.
The Colosseum in Rome was constructed in 70 AD.
Stonehenge in England was constructed around 3100 BC.
To various degrees, these structures still stand – and are testaments to the abilities of those who designed and built them.
Interstate 40 — which runs right through Amarillo — was constructed in 1957. That was basically six decades ago — barely the blink of an eye compared to the longevity of the aforementioned historical and architectural wonders.
Interstate 40 is still under construction, at least as far as Amarillo is concerned.
OK, we admit we are comparing apples to oranges when lumping an Amarillo highway into the same category as the Roman Colosseum. This was done just to provide some perspective (with more than a tinge of sarcasm) and a bit of snarky humor today for long-suffering Amarillo motorists.
Breaking news (and unfortunately it is not “fake news”), all lanes of Interstate 40 in Amarillo will be shut down — again — beginning tonight at 9 p.m. The interstate will not be up and running until 8 a.m. Sunday. All traffic will be redirected to interstate frontage roads.
Not that we need to inform Amarillo motorists, but the interstate will come to a standstill tonight so further construction can be done on the Bell Street bridge (a $7.4 million project), which runs across the highway.
The Texas Department of Transportation shut down I-40 for Bell Street bridge construction in July and August.
While Amarillo seems to have become the road construction capital of Texas lately, it is the Bell Street bridge project that has arguably proved the most inconvenient of all the current road construction projects for Amarillo motorists. The added traffic congestion onto neighboring streets such as Western Street and Coulter Street has been noticeable as motorists avoid Bell at all costs.
This is not a criticism of the Bell Street bridge project. The powers-that-be concluded the bridge needed a makeover, and who is to argue otherwise?
Amarillo motorists just need to be aware today to once again steer clear of I-40 — at least in close proximity to the Bell Street bridge area. It is a pain, but a temporary pain.
Perhaps in future centuries, people will regard Amarillo’s chunk of I-40 as a wonder of architectural design. We can only ponder the possibility as we sit in traffic this weekend.