It’s not until it rains here that you realise what a terrible state the Houston roads are in. Obviously you notice the 5 inch difference between different lanes on the dual carriageways and the crumbling roads where the water pipes are leaking and are never repaired but you learn to navigate these and avoid the worst pieces of road altogether.
But when it rains, it’s a different story. The roads fill with water very quickly, mainly because when it rains it doesn’t mess around – it’s proper rain here, none of your drizzle or even a light rain shower, it’s torrential rain. When it rains in Houston huge puddles appear within seconds and the roads start to disintegrate before your eyes! On the road opposite the entrance to where we live there are few pavements so people walk at the edge of the road. When it rains they have to walk in the middle of the road as the edges turn into deep streams, all rushing towards the storm drains.
On Wednesday last week it rained like this. Visibility was awful and it didn’t get light – it was so dark that the satellite navigation system in the car had the night time colours on and it felt like it was 8pm all day! The main road (8 lanes) was ok, apart from people still feeling the need to break the speed limit despite being able to see little beyond their own car and the lanes nearest the pavement on either side being unusable due to huge puddles (I guess you could aquaplane your whole journey…) The side roads (still 4 lanes of traffic) were not so good. One road had a dip which I’d forgotten about and I found myself surfing through a 12 inch deep puddle. Thank goodness my Lovely Husband insisted on us having such a huge truck of a car or else we’d have been well and truly stuck. And wet. The poor car took a beating as I tried to remember exactly where the road was bad and failed as I really couldn’t see any lumps and bumps, just water.
The roads after a rain storm look pretty bad – pavements crumbled into the roads and even larger holes appearing everywhere. Not good. And things never seem to get repaired very quickly or very well. There was a water leak which closed 2 lanes of the main road recently for several weeks. The road eventually got repaired but the water leak didn’t, so 2 weeks later the road was in pieces again. Very strange… On the third attempt to fix the road they managed to fix the leak first and so far, it’s holding up!
There was lots of talk during the presidential election about the state of the US infrastructure and if the Houston roads are anything to go by, then people are right to be concerned. It strikes me as very strange that in a city where everyone is in love with their car (or truck…) that the roads are in such a poor state.