Traffic cone festival upon us

The return of nice weather also means the return of INFAMOUS construction cones. Unfortunately, summer in Canada means roadwork. Every year, it's the same story, and it seems to be getting worse as the years go by.

Good times are back

I'm always delighted to see good weather in full swing because it means we can enjoy driving to the fullest! Finally, I can drive my car with the windows down; hot air flowing over my skin and wind in my hair. Throw in listening to my favorite tunes blasting out the speakers and goosing the throttle just a little more and I'm in Heaven.

Good road conditions are back and it feels good. Let's make the most of it.

Until it clouds up

Unfortunately, this happiness is short lived, since summer in Canada means roadwork: the return of nice weather is synonymous with the return of INFAMOUS construction cones. Every year it's the same story, and it's seems to be getting worse as the years go by.

I sadly think it's true. Considering the number of cars and trucks on the road and the ageing of infrastructures (bridges, overpasses, etc.), it's obvious that roadwork is a necessary problem. Furthermore, because of its vastness, Canada has an impressive network of roads. Consider that Transport Québec alone has over 20,000 km to take care of.

Add all the municipal roads from within and you have a nice puzzle right.

I believe that an extensive road network is equal parts wealth and burden. All these roads need to be maintained at a huge cost - don't forget paving a road is more trouble than paving a driveway. It involves money and time. Bottom line, we have to be patient.

Our daily ordeal

On a daily basis, that means taking an extra 30 to 45 minutes to get to work, or making a 10 km detour to pick up the kids from daycare. It takes time and planning. To make things easier, some provinces monitor the state of the roads. In Québec, the minister created Québec 511, which offers live updates.

It's handy, but I bet you only use it to plan holidays or weekend trips.

Regardless of the planning tools available, roadwork is something we all have to deal with. No matter how many detours you make, or how far ahead you think, you'll find yourself stuck at least once over the summer, in an ambush of orange cones. It's part of the driving "pleasures".

So when you do get stuck in traffic because of roadwork, just imagine yourself later on driving with the windows down, wind in your hair, coasting on a brand new road.

Construction road