Rick's List - Pequot Avenue Imbroglio Edition

As a resident of south New London, the quickest way for me to get to work would be to take Montauk to Bank Street and into downtown. But for the 22 years we've lived here, I've opted to meander around Pequot Avenue from Guthrie Beach, overlooking the Sound, then up-river by the Thames. Water views all the way.

This has been disrupted by a construction project at Greens Harbor Beach that started on Feb. 4, 1932, and has majorly disrupted traffic on Pequot from Converse Ave. to the Fort Trumbull Rotary since that day. I think the original estimate was that the undertaking — as I understand it, to fix a drainage/flooding problem related to water overflows from the higher-ground Caulkins Park — would take a month.

Well, as per a red light beaming from the temporary traffic light installed by the old Stash's Cafe, to help facilitate one-lane flow on Pequot after construction hours, and where I sat for a very long time watching bicyclists, pedestrians, mule teams and crawling infants pass me like frontiersmen headed for a Golden Future, the project is still not finished.

I'm pretty sure the Pequot Avenue (Money) Drainage Project is well over the initial budget, and the scope of the original plan seems to have begat a series of newer projects. Not sure why or how much it will all end up costing, but I stand cheerfully ready to sell more blood to pay the rising-helium-balloon I call my city taxes.

One thought occurred to me: Why didn't the Project-Doers stop the water drainage at the site of the run-off? Up at Caulkins Parks or at the Amtrak rail line? That mighta been simpler. Hell, I don't know, and I erased all the messages left on our answering machine, at the outset of the job, by the infrastructure engineers seeking my opinion on that concept, so I blame myself.

What I AM good at, though, is what I like to call "investigative speculation." As such, sitting at the interminable portable traffic lights on Pequot, I've come up with a few sinister theories as to why the Pequot Avenue Drainage Project has spiraled out of control.

1. The engineers misread the plans and thought they were supposed to install a huge quicksand bog.

2. Construction workers realized that, with the road blocked off, they could lay at the Greens Harbor Beach for a whole summer. Surf's up, dudes!

3. In Greens Harbor Park, they uncovered a secret graveyard filled with the bodies of the actors who helped pull off the phony Newtown massacre. These thespians had to be killed, of course, so they couldn't leak their participation in the plot by anti-Second Amendment kooks to the real world.

4. Screw trying to fix flooding. The latest addendum to the project will be to elevate Pequot Avenue 40 feet into the air from Fred's Shanty to the rotary. It'll be a fun bridge! So this could take a while.


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