She’s a rust-covered ballerina. She glided through the slow lane quite gracefully. However, her upholstery is the original horsehair material that it was in 1949. I popped two Benadryls in an attempt to keep my nose from leaking all over said upholstery and to keep my face from swelling like a roasting marshmallow. (I visited my allergist this morning for prescription meds).

Dan and I did a “soft start” and pregame launch of the Low And Slow Across America’s Infrastructure tour in Boston. I actually took Amtrak up to meet Dan and Mrs. Martin for the first time (and Per, the mechanic who coaxed her out of her “functionally obsolete” – as bridge engineers would say – condition.

blog post photo

Cho, Collins, McNichol and Mrs. Martin

We visited APWA board member Rick Stinson in Wakefield (video and photo coming soon). Then we met with Dr. Ming Wang of Northeastern University and City of Beverly public works commissioner Michael Collins. Beverly’s 150 miles of roads and streets have been virtually mapped using  Versatile Onboard Traffic Embedded Roaming Sensors (VOTERS), which gather data as a van rolls over the pavement (story coming soon). Collins calls the technology from Wang’s project team a game-changer for road asset maintenance.

I took Amtrak back to NYC, and await Dan’s arrival in time for a May 14 tour of the Bayonne Bridge deck elevation project, courtesy of the Port Authority.

But trying to figure out how to keep Mrs. Martin off heavily congested highways and streets (it’s not good for her) is proving a massive headache regarding logistics and parking between Boston, NYC and Washington. She can’t see well at night, so no night driving, either.

I was ranting and cussing about the hair-pulling difficulties of trying to visit industry folks in Philadelphia and somehow getting down to DC during non-rush hour. Dan said, “That’s what happens when you have this old car.”

If we’re getting into comas trying to work with a 60+-year-old car on getting places, imagine what public infrastructure stewards go through trying to work with 60+year-old assets!