PITTSBURGH — The Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT) recently announced plans to disguise an elite group of its workers as police officers and place them in construction zones along the Pennsylvania Turnpike in order to secretly finish some of the roadwork.
The elite group — a handful of contractors who actually get jobs done — will sit inside Pa. State Trooper cruisers with miniature utility shovels and small, well-concealed buckets of wet concrete mix at the ready. They will then inconspicuously ride through construction lanes at low speeds, filling potholes when no one is looking.
The plan itself, which is named “Operation Banana Peel” because it makes the undercover workers feel like badasses, was conceived shortly after the past 30-year period in which Western Pennsylvania’s utter lack of road maintenance caused innumerable automobile accidents and claimed untold numbers of lives.
A panel of independent researchers was able to attribute conclusively the majority of these accidents to PennDOT because the vehicles themselves are required to pass regular, rigorous state inspections, whereas the roads on which they drive apparently are not.
According to Pennsylvania State Police Commissioner Gary Midnitey, “Our message to PennDOT is simple: What do we gain from speeding [things up]? Better roadways, less tax money being wasted on never-ending projects, fewer flat tires, reduced number of crashes — fatal and otherwise — decreased traffic leading to a lower emission-level of greenhouse gasses, less stress and fewer road-rage incidents, consumer-savings on gasoline… the list goes on.”
At press time, reports indicate that shortly after launching “Operation Banana Peel,” three of the undercover construction workers — each at separate worksites — were found mysteriously murdered, though sources also report that, on the bright side, the unknown assailants used the bodies to patch several potholes.