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McGuire's Musings: Bridging the town gap

October 18, 2013

I don't know about you, but I'm heaving a sigh of relief, because those of us who live in Punxsy are now free to "travel about the country," as that one airline commercial says.

As of Friday afternoon, all of our bridges were reopened to traffic.
The Sawmill Run Bridge, which many people didn't realize even existed until it was closed, reopened to traffic three days early.

In the beginning of September, the Route 119 Elk Run Bridge reopened to traffic.

As happy as everyone is at having our main roads in the borough reopened to traffic, it's also a sad time, because no longer will we be able to travel back to a simpler time by driving on McHugh Avenue.

Now, I realize that there were PennDOT-approved designated detour routes for both reconstruction projects.

However, the people who live here didn't believe that those posted detours applied to them and created their own detours on McHugh Avenue and Graffius and Jenks avenues.

Now, me, being a local (person who lives in the Punxsy area), I utilized the local detours in order to save time, even if it didn't save a single second.

But how much time I really saved considering the traffic on those roads was probably triple of what it normally would be, much to the delight of the people who live there.

One thing about McHugh Avenue is that it's nearly impossible to have a speed trap on there, since it's difficult to accelerate above 15 mph.

Now here's a little bit of history, which some of you know and some don't: McHugh Avenue was also known at one time as "Pig Alley."

According to lore and legend, the reason it received that moniker is not because there are a lot of litterbugs who travel that road. Even though there are, which is another story for another day.

Yes, it's because some little piggies used McHugh as their prime transportation highway.

With all the traffic that has been using McHugh as the unofficial detour, so far, I've not seen one oinker on the friendly confines, since everybody in town has been driving down the road.

Besides, what piggy in his or her right mind would use McHugh Avenue as a grazing area, unless he or she wanted to become a ham sandwich — hold the pickles.

So ends another road construction season, thanks to all the engineers, stop sign holders, concrete pourers, line painters and other construction workers for helping us through these trying times.

This is also the time of year when all of the orange barrel factories shut down.

You know what season is coming next — no, not Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas or Groundhog Day. Valentine's Day!!

I've even got my St. Patrick's Day decorations out and ready to go, in case I forget.

Actually, I hate to say this out loud, but snowplow season is right around the corner.

Farewell to the residents of McHugh Avenue. I'll catch you on the next detour.

Meanwhile, I have big plans for tonight. I'm going to drive straight through from one end of town to the other, uninhibited by any orange construction paraphernalia.


Larry McGuire is a Spirit reporter and has a ticket to ride.

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