Tuesday 15 December 2015
A couple of years ago, I moaned and ranted about the fact that the Main Roads Department had decided that a great big bloody stretch of highway out of the town that I live in needed to be restructured. This post is a sort of follow up regarding said stretch of highway, and the said restructuring.
Some two and a half years after I first ranted about the topic, the roadwork is still being completed. Well, come on, we want it to be done a) properly, and b) well, don’t we? Of course we do. So just to update you on what’s transpired: a lot of the curves in the highway have been ‘taken out’, and great big sections have been resealed. Now, ‘taken out’ essentially means that the road has, for the most part, been straightened. What were previously considered bends in the road are now much softer curves that are very close to being straight . . . y’know, because bends and curves on roads are the cause of so many road fatalities, not driver error or stupidity. But I won’t get started on that again. And obviously with restructuring the road comes resealing it, so yep, they’ve laid bitumen and made the road surface really quite good.
And then they dug it up again.
Yes, you read that correctly. They dug up the road sections that they had resealed. We’ve not that long been driving on this pristinely sealed road surface, and someone has decided that no, it needs to be ripped up, taken back to the clay base, re-gravelled, and then resealed with bitumen. Because, y’know, it hasn’t even really been a full twelve months of us driving on a nicely sealed road.
Two things sh!t me about this. The first is that it doesn’t matter where you go in Australia, you can guarantee that you’ll run into really sh!tty road works over the festive season . . . because that’s really when you want to be stopped in a kilometre ling convoy of equally sh@t off drivers – in the middle of summer, in the effing Aussie heat, at Christmas time. I swear that the Main Roads Department has some sort of secret policy regarding roadwork, and when they choose to carry it out, and in my driving experience, it just so happens that on every major Australian holiday you hit massive road works. Yep, pretty sure, actually, I’m convinced that a bunch of bureaucrats sat down one day at a meeting to discuss how they could possibly sh!t people off in the biggest way.
‘Well hey guys, I’ve got it!’
‘What’s that, Bill?’
‘We could really, and I mean really piss Aussie drivers off by, wait for it . . . doing all of our major road works at Christmas time!’
‘Holy Sh!t, Bill, you’re a freakin’ genius!’
‘And, if we want to rub salt into their already massive driving wounds, let us also conduct huge road projects on any other public or Australian holiday that we can think of.’
‘Jesus H. Christ, that’s a magnificent idea. Steve, get a pencil, and a calendar with all the holidays marked on it. We need to schedule this sh!t right now!’
Okay, so maybe that’s not actually what happened, but it’s making a lot of sense to Aussie drivers right at this very moment, isn’t it?
That’s the first thing that sh!ts me. The second thing is this: why the f@%k do you need to reseal a newly resealed road surface? There was nothing wrong with it. Or didn’t you do the job right the first time? Yeah, I’m leaning that way because I’ve seen them digging up the road to put in gigantic concrete pipes whose purpose I can only guess at – maybe drainage – and then they lay the gravel base, and bitumen again. Now, if someone competent planned how this road was going to be constructed, wouldn’t all of this sh!t have been done before you sealed the road, and allowed vehicles to traverse its length? I’m thinking a competent person would have planned it properly. And I don’t really want to point fingers at any group of people . . . oh who am I kidding . . . if a woman had been heading the project, things would have gone differently.
‘Steve, I’m not happy about this road restructuring plan you’ve drafted. Where’s the drainage necessary for what’s basically a lead in to a water catchment area?’
‘Ummm, don’t need it. Water just runs down the road shoulder, and into the river.’
‘Steve, are you serious? We need adequate drainage. The water might just run off the road shoulder, and into the river now, but in a few years we could end up with a problem. Let’s whack it in now, solve the problem before it becomes a major issue, and be done with this sh!tty road.’
‘I don’t think we need to jump too far ahead, Nancy. Surely that sorta thing can wait until, or if it happens.’
‘You’re not listening to me, Steve, mate, trust me, I’ve planned numerous birthday parties, and sleepovers for children, my wardrobe is meticulously organised according to colour, and designer, and my shoe closet is yet to be rivalled for organisation. Do this now, save the problems later. And while we’re at it, is there any chance we can get a road surface in a lighter shade of bitumen to reflect more of the heat? Black and charcoal bitumen colours are so yesterday.’
Okay, so maybe that’s not what would actually happen, but it’s making a lot of sense to some of you right about now, isn’t it? 😉 I know, I know . . . stereotypical views of males and females. Get over it.
My point being, thousands if not millions of dollars have been spent on ‘upgrading’ and restructuring this road, only to have the Main Roads Department rip up all the road surface, fart about a bit, and then seal it again. That’s your Aussie taxpayer dollar at work, kids, and it’s a bloody disgrace. Now, I know that my rant hasn’t covered something as contentious as refugees, or dole bludgers, or something else that gets your hackles up, but think of all that wasted money that could have been spent elsewhere. The job should have been completed properly the first time around, not twelve or so months later after the new work gets torn up, and tossed away, and redone.
Okay, I’m done now.