Opinion

Construction woes | Q&A with Mr. Federal Way

Mr. Federal Way - File photo
Mr. Federal Way
— image credit: File photo

Q: Mr. Federal Way, about two weeks ago I was at McDonalds when I saw a lady come in, plop down on a bench and then proceed to roll her own cigarettes right there in the booth. She laid the loose tobacco on the table and had some device that formed the cigarette and filter all at once. I was dumbstruck and just shook my head as my eyeballs bled. The kiddos were all asking their parents what she was doing. Is McDonalds becoming the new Walmart?

A: Mr. Federal Way thinks the classiness of McDonalds was initially not too far from Walmart’s status to begin with. Cheap food and cheap goods benefit the frugal but can also attract an interesting crowd - or if we’re going to stereotype here - poor, overweight, unhealthy Americans who are usually trying to get by and, in doing so, have little care for others’ perceptions. This woman clearly had no regard for others as they ate their Big Macs, Happy Meals and McFlurries.

While legal, as far as Mr. Federal Way can tell, rolling cigarettes at a food establishment that caters to children doesn’t seem like the best choice if you’re going to set a good example. Mr. Federal Way supposes what really matters is if she smoked those individually rolled cigarettes within a 25-foot radius of the McDonalds. Supposedly, they’re the same price as a pack of cigarettes but last longer, so Mr. Federal Way can see the benefits for those addicted to cancer sticks but just because the woman’s health flew out the door (come on, she’s at McDonalds, preparing to smoke) doesn’t mean her morals should too.

Q: Come on, not again. Washington State Department of Transportation is closing the westbound State Route 18 ramp to southbound Interstate 5 in Federal Way this weekend for more construction work. This means South 320th Street will be a mess this weekend. What does Mr. Federal Way think of another traffic jam in Federal Way?

A: Mr. Federal Way is not impressed. But Mr. Federal Way is also not surprised.

The Washington State Department of Transportation recently does not have a good track record of successful construction projects. This Federal Way fix comes on the heels of some costly mistakes the department admitted to in its own design of the 520 bridge. That mistake required tens of millions of dollars in fixes to the bridge pontoons.

This weekend, contractor crews working for the Washington State Department of Transportation will replace the concrete around two bridge expansion joints from 10 p.m. Friday until 5 a.m. Monday.

The expansion joints were installed in 2012 as part of the first phase of the Triangle Improvements project that added two new flyover ramps to the I-5/SR 18 interchange. But engineers noticed potholes and minor cracks forming near and around the joints.

Mr. Federal Way is not surprised.

The Washington State Department of Transportation assures us that it is enforcing its warranty provision with contractor Mowat Construction Company to fix the damage at no charge.

But it will come at an expense — to Federal Way drivers. And as Mr. Federal Way and many of you know, 320th Street is already congested, especially during the weekend.

For all you drivers who plan to attend the Federal Way Farmer’s Market, shop at the Commons Mall or go anywhere near this congested area, Mr. Federal Way urges you to walk or ride a bike. Or better yet, stay home.

Q: Maybe I’m in a judgmental mood, but would you please spare us from any more of that ridiculous “none of your business” that appears for some reason at the end of this column? It was never funny, and it usually detracts from the article (when the article is actually relevant).

A: None of your business.

Got a question for Mr. Federal Way? Email mrfederalway@federalwaymirror.com

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