Q Oh Great Road Dude. You like contests? How about a contest for the worst road construction project of the 21st century? I have a project in mind.

Doug Swalen

A And where might that be?

Q The lane widening at Montague Expressway from North First Street to Zanker Road. I know construction projects don't always go as planned and I'm a pretty forgiving sort but this one has sorely tested my patience.

For two years commuters have endured lane closings, multiple turn lane closings, backups and the like. Months would go by with no work and then we'd see a couple of people out doing something and then followed by more inactivity. I understand that underground lines probably had to be moved and that takes some time, but this has really dragged out long beyond the point of reasonable expectations.

Doug Swalen

A No argument here. Work to add a westbound lane on Montague between Orchard Drive and Zanker Road, add a new traffic signal at Montague and First Street, and install a sewer line between First and Zanker began in November 2012 and was to be completed last summer.

But last May the original contractor defaulted and walked off the job. A new contractor was hired and work resumed in August and was mostly completed by December.

The new contractor had to fix the mess left behind and that delayed paving until this spring, when nighttime temperatures hit 55 degrees.

But then ...

Q I watched as new sidewalks were poured and then a few weeks later crews were back ripping up portions of the newly poured sidewalks to do something and repouring. The new lane addition was finally paved and we thought this was over. Except it wasn't because a few weeks ago crews were out adding a slurry top to Montague on the east side of First Street. And get this -- the street striping is still not done so we can expect still more lane closures.

All this stop-and-start incrementalism over a couple of years for what was essentially a project to widen slightly longer than a quarter of a mile of road and move two traffic lights over a foot and a half. What a boondoggle.

Doug Swalen

A Some good news. Striping will be done this weekend.

Q Doesn't Santa Clara have a drought problem, too? They have let water leaking along Lafayette Street in the underpass between Central Expressway and Aldo Drive persist. I work for a limousine company on Aldo and use that roadway every day. I just get the vehicles washed, only to have them get sprayed by others that use the road.

Paul Cruz

A The groundwater table is close to the surface, since Lafayette dips underneath the railroad tracks and the drainage system needs replacing. Until then, water is percolating up through the median and the low areas of the underpass. The city will install a new drainage system, but I am not certain when.

Q Central Expressway has large potholes over Lawrence and San Tomas expressways between the road and bridges. Any chance these will be fixed in the near future? I'm afraid I might blow a tire one day.

Don Bentley

A Repairs are coming this month.

Look for Gary Richards at Facebook.com/mr.roadshow, follow him at Twitter.com/mrroadshow or contact him at mrroadshow@mercurynews.com or 408-920-5335.