The road less travelled – by Beth

21 May

A couple of weeks ago we got a brand new road (surface) on our street. There were leaflets in our letterboxes explaining that this would be happening one day in the near future. We got new guttering a couple of weeks before it all happened (our skew-whiff guttering had given Winky 2 flat tyres, so it needed to go).

They said the actual road process would only take one day from go to whoa, and they were right.

They closed the road the night before and told everyone to get their cars out of the street. Two ladies with a guitar and beautiful voices were paid to stay there all night making sure (not sure what they were guarding against really, but they sang lovely songs).

At 6:30am, in came the equipment. Now, I’m totally down with diggers and trucks and cranes (Leo makes sure of this), but I had never seen this machinery before.

Asphalt paving machine

Eight wheeled thingy

There were lots of dudes hanging around, seemingly mostly doing nothing, but then you’d miss an hour and come back out and they’d made a lot of progress. We missed the bit where they had to scrape up the whole road (thankfully), and came home for the fun bit where a giant truck sidles up to the asphalt paving machine and dumps a huge amount of hot-liquidy bitumen into the back of it, and then it comes out the other end looking flawless and uniform.

Truck and paving machine

I never did get to see what the eight wheeled thingo did, but it seemed to just be driving around whilly-nilly. There was also a roller with huge brushes attached (like an arm in a car wash), and that roamed around trying to sweep up stray bitument.

The new surface was very hot, so they sent around a steamroller that had water coming out of it – impressive.

Wet steamroller

I wonder if a caption like “wet steamroller” is going to send people with kinky searchterms flocking to the blog… [sigh]

It was all over by 4pm, and the equipment shuffled away as fast as it came. One of my next door neighbours has been living here for 40 years and he’s never seen them do this before, so it feels very special.


Our new road!


5 Responses to “The road less travelled – by Beth”

  1. Michal May 21, 2012 at 12:45 pm #

    Oh Beth, still so much to learn in the heavy machinery field. The ‘eight wheel thingy’ is a pneumatic road roller. It’s used for compacting the gravel etc into a nice firm surface. Leo could have told you that!

    Nice road by the way. All of Poland should read this post to see how quickly road maintenence takes in the real world.

    • Justyna May 21, 2012 at 12:56 pm #

      That comment is from Justyna. Michal must have been logged on.

      • Karen May 21, 2012 at 11:04 pm #

        In Singapore they could have done it without closing the road 😉

  2. Tabitha May 22, 2012 at 2:54 am #

    I don’t understand the singing ladies. The council paid singing ladies to keep everyone’s cars off the road? Were they singing about roadworks?

    They recently repaved our road here in Hanoi. A cart filled with tar was rolled along as a guy with a wicker broom slushed it out and kind of rubbed it into the various potholes and sunken crevices. No road closure required, and everyone just rode over it while it was wet. Would you believe, the potholes and crevices reappeared almost instantly.

    • Beth May 23, 2012 at 11:51 am #

      Yes, bit hazy on why the ladies were there. But it certainly added to the air of excitement.

      Justyna! You’re the best.

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