I am back in good old Havelock. Things have surely changed in the last four years. The Havelock I remember is not the Havelock of today. First, there is no more flagman in front of the Catholic school stopping the traffic on route 70. That is probably a good thing. However, I wanted to go to Taco Bell. You cannot get there from here without driving all the way through Havelock, turning around, and driving half the way back.
I have concluded that the prime requisite for having a degree in civil engineering is that, first and foremost, your IQ must begin with a decimal point. In short, common sense isn’t. Then I remember that the highway is there to transport the dit dots (the name we locals have given to those who drive from the center of our state and speed up when they get to our Havelock to get to the beach five minutes faster).
Right after the huge fight between Wilmington and Morehead City as to who would get the I-40 extension to the coast where Wilmington won, the folks in Morehead City have had one common goal — to build a pseudo I-40 to the Crystal Coast. Hence, small towns such as ours have been literally cut in half to create a pseudo “super slab” without any regard to the folks living and working in these small towns.
As mentioned by several, beginning with Jimmy Sanders, from whom I first heard the suggestion decades ago, the state DOT should have built a four-lane highway off I-40 to connect with the Intercoastal Waterway bridge over to Emerald Isle at the route 24 intersection before one reaches Swansboro. Then, no towns would have been affected and the growing coastal area would have had easy access to a 70 mph roadway to Raleigh and beyond for a multitude of reasons, the most important being the shopping. However, that obviously didn’t fall into the plans of these political appointees from the Morehead City area.
Therefore, today we have to drive from one end of our Havelock to the other, turn around, and drive back to reach the other side of the road. Even the almost finished local drive alongside this pseudo super road is on the wrong side. Since the majority of our local shoppers at the new shopping area, which includes our Walmart, lives on the river side of our Havelock, including our military families, it would seem that the local drive should be on the river side rather than on the far side of this pseudo “fast lane.” Besides, the far side local road stops at the beginning of town, and those living on the east end of our Havelock have to drive to the end of town, turn around, drive back, then cross the pseudo interstate at the west end of town just to reach the local side road. Which savant in the civil engineering department of the North Carolina DOT thought that one up?
Now, I am not a civil engineer, not even an N.C. State graduate. Nor does my IQ begin with a decimal point. Therefore, I probably am not educated enough to comprehend the “big picture” — but I do think about it — as I drive from one end of our Havelock to the other just to cross our Havelock’s main street that can no longer be crossed.
I now understand the cruelty in the joke of “why did the chicken cross the road.” Answer, because it just cannot be accomplished in our Havelock.
Michael P. Hudson, Havelock