It’s been a long road to hoe

This is a mash up of “tough row to hoe” and “long road”, both meaning long, difficult situations.  Row and road sound similar, adding to the confusion.  I saw this one in today’s morning Pittsburgh Post-Gazette:

“I’m very happy. It’s been a long road to hoe,” Mr. Berry, the project architect, said as he took photographs of the mostly finished product and checked for any problems that needed to be fixed.