How can news reports say the Interstate 85 widening in Durham is finished when you can see from outer space that it’s pitch dark at night, stripes are missing, barrels are everywhere and some interchanges are still under construction?

You Martians must have a different meaning of “finished.” Here on Earth (or at least at the state DOT), it means that “all the lanes on the Interstate were open and all the ramps were open and then all the side streets were open for the safe and convenient use of the public,” says Aaron Earwood, the DOT’s resident engineer on the project. “But that didn’t mean we were complete with all the work.” They’re still finishing sidewalks, islands and paving on Guess Road. And even though the light standards are upand the road at night is a dark, high-speed,12-lane monsterhe says some are still being worked on and others are waiting for Duke Power to give them juice. (It’s not like Duke Power didn’t have, oh, five years to get ready.)

The project is expected to be totally, absolutely completed in the next two to three months, Earwood says. “But I can’t give you any guarantee on the lighting, because Duke Power is in control of that. It’s possible we could be completed and we’re still waiting on Duke Power, but hopefully that’s not the case.”