Today’s batch of burning questions, my smart answers, and the real deal:
Question: I’m afraid there are no bridge reflectors at exit 55 on I-40 west and east. I drive this road every day from Marion, and I can barely see the road, especially if it’s raining. It is very dangerous in this area at night and at 4 am. Can the NCDOT add reflectors to this area of the freeway? It’s very busy and I see no reason why reflectors can’t be added. There is always someone working on this road early in the morning who has a lane closed for some reason, but surely it is not to install reflectors for safe driving. Please consider my request and wish me luck as I am driving without reflectors or painted lines in this area.
My answer: This one struck me, as I discovered one of the joys of growing old during the winter. Apparently, you become totally bewildered while driving at night in the rain. Seriously, how was I able to see the road when I was younger?
True answer: The reflectors will come, but above all.
“The contractor for the I-40 improvement project from Porters Cove Road (Exit 55) to Hendersonville Road (Exit 50) is working in phases,” said Jody Lawrence, resident engineer with the Department of Fisheries’ Asheville office. North Carolina Transportation, by e-mail.
More answers to reader questions:
Rogers Group has a $22.2 million contract for the project, which is scheduled for completion in March 2023. The first phase included the first layers of asphalt.
“Now the shoulders and the guardrail are almost done,” Lawrence said. “The final layer of asphalt is expected to be placed in June. This will be followed by the installation of the final pavement markings, which will include snowplow reflective pavement markers.”
Then help arrives. In the meantime, be careful out there!
Question: How reliable is the US Postal Service tracking system? I sent a box of goodies (cookies, brownies, cashews, Goldfish crackers, and breakfast cookies) to our grandson at UNC-Charlotte on Monday, April 4th from the post office in Oteen. The post office clerk told me it would arrive on April 7, a Thursday, and I received a tracking number on my receipt. Well, my grandson via text message said he received the package on Wednesday April 6th and that he and his classmates had already consumed most of the cookies and other goodies. When I entered my tracking number on the USPS website, the response was that the package was at a postal facility on Scott Futrell Drive in Charlotte (somehow it seems that he escaped to Greenville, South Carolina), and then to a postal establishment closer to the university. But it’s April 8, and the tracking information currently says, “Your package will arrive later than expected, but it’s still on its way. It’s currently in transit to the next facility.” WHAT? It’s happened before, and the content has been devoured. I wonder what the ending message will be on this “tracker?” Talk to Louis DeJoy?
My answer: Obviously, your package has cracked the time travel code. It’s a major discovery for mankind, and it’s all about Goldfish cookies and crackers (two of my staples, by the way). I knew this day would come. By the way, you’re reading this column tomorrow…
True answer: Spokesman Philip Bogenberger said the Postal Service “uses sophisticated tracking software to ensure timely delivery of mail and packages and for customer convenience.”
“While very accurate, this looks like a rare occasion where the tracker didn’t update as quickly as expected,” Bogenberger continued. “We are happy to hear that the package arrived even earlier than expected. The postal service is committed to delivering every mail on time.”
The USPS keeps tabs on all of this data.
“Our most recent performance metrics show First Class Mail has an on-time delivery performance of 94%, and the average mail delivery time on the postal network was 2.4 days,” Bogenberger said.
This is the opinion of John Boyle. To submit a question, contact him at 232-5847 or [email protected].