Monday, October 15 – Tuesday, October 16


Well I have no one but myself to blame, do I?

Monday marked the start of my second assignment to a customer’s location in Danbury.  Unlike the assignment a couple of months ago, which lasted only a few days, this one should be three to four weeks in duration.  It also comes as a blessed relief after the brutally distant North Haven assignment.  Not only is the drive to Danbury more than 25 miles shorter, but with the exception of a couple miles in the Bronx I don’t have to drive on often-congested I-95.  My route is the Long Island Expressway-Cross Island Parkway – Throgs Neck Bridge – I-95 (briefly) – Hutchinson River Parkway – I-684 – I-84.  The longest stretch off of Long Island is on I-684, which heads north in Westchester and Putnam counties just west of the Connecticut line (near its southern end it crosses the Connecticut line for a exit-less stretch of a mile or so).   When I exit onto I-84, after 27 miles on I-684, I’m within a couple of miles of my exit for the customer’s location.  When I say that I’m working in Connecticut, I am just into the state by a mile or two.

Both Monday and Tuesday morning took about 1:45.  As I can leave later than when I was in North Haven, traffic is a bit heavier on the Long Island Expressway.  Especially near the Nassau-Queens line, as some grooved pavement (resulting from overnight repaving work) causes everyone to slow way down.  Important note to drivers: you car will not fall apart if you drive on a slightly rough surface – emphasis on “slightly” – at normal highway speeds.  Coming home on Monday took only about two hours because I left the worksite shortly after noon and was home before rush hour began.

I left on Tuesday at my usual 3pm quitting time.  Everything was fine at first, with it taking me about 55 minutes to get through the (obscene) tolls on the Throgs Neck Bridge and across the span.  Traffic looked a bit heavy on the Cross Island, so I decided to take the Clearview Expressway instead.  This wasn’t too smart a move, as traffic was uncharacteristically sluggish – why, I don’t know, as the traffic report on WCBS obsessed as usual on the Hudson River crossings and scarcely mentioned anywhere else, thanks for nothing.

Still, it wouldn’t have mattered much, as the exit for the Long Island Expressway wasn’t far off.  What did matter was the fact that my car’s low-fuel warning light was on.  I had thought in the morning that I’d be able to make it to Danbury and back without getting gas, clearly I thought wrong. I decided to get off at the Northern Boulevard exit and find a gas station.  Easier said than done, as it took four cycles of the traffic light (and it’s definitely not a fast light) at the end of the ramp before I could finally turn east onto Northern Boulevard, which was itself quite congested.

Having finally fueled up, I got onto the Cross Island for the short stretch to the Long Island Expressway exit, and to my pleasant surprise found it moving well.  The Expressway itself was in good shape, some slowdowns at the usual spots but otherwise nothing bad.  As I neared Exit 56, at around 5:10, the electronic sign gave a travel time estimate of 20 minutes to Exit 64, which is my exit.  I figured I’d be home about 5:30, which would be two and a half hours since I left Danbury, but if I hadn’t had to stop for gas the trip would have been a very pleasant 2:15 or so.

And then, to my great dismay, the electronic sign changed right as I was looking at it: “Accident exits 61-62, right lane closed, delays to Exit 62.”  Oh, the joy.  What in the world was I to do?  Getting off at the next exit, Exit 57, and then taking the service road was an obvious alternative, except it was just as obvious that everyone would be doing that.  I figured that with just one lane down, staying on the Expressway would be the better choice.  Maybe it was, I don’t know, what I do know is that it took me more than 30 minutes to cover a distance that normally would have taken about five minutes.  By the time I got to the crash scene, tow trucks were starting to haul off the vehicles (one car had rear-ended another at an fairly fast clip, both are definitely off to the junkyard).  Traffic was fine after that point, but the damage was done.  My return trip took three hours almost on the nose, 30 minutes longer than it would have taken without the crash.  Had I not made such a poor estimate of my car’s fuel consumption, and not had to stop for gas, I would have been past the crash scene before it occurred and home by 5:15 rather than 6:00.

Published in: on October 17, 2012 at 12:13 am  Leave a Comment  

The URI to TrackBack this entry is:

RSS feed for comments on this post.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: