Urban Roadworks- and a quiet chuckle


Here in Dickson there has been a very long series of road works.

As part of one of the latest, an extra lane was added and changes were made to the traffic lights on a corner near the shops.

On a couple of occasions I walked past to hear supervisors exclaiming something such as ‘wasn’t there suppose to be a #$%&* here before that curve’. And sure enough, a few days later you would see things being dug up and reworked to suit what the supervisors thought they had ordered.

In one case a footpath had been completed alongside the nursery, and it looked good. These footpaths had been under construction for months and it was a relief at last to have them back in use.

Alas after few days a crew arrived and a new two metre square hole was excavated into the brand new concrete with accompanying barriers making the footpath off limits again. We never saw what the hole was all about–did they bury a tool? Was there a new thingy supposed to be inserted first? Who knows?

Then there was the day when some parking signs were cemented in for the new parking bays created along the same new footpath. The trouble being that they were placed near the centre of a the new but narrowed footpath. It was not going to be long before someone walked straight into one of them. Hmm, I thought, someone has not been reading the last decade or two of material on creating better pedestrian areas.



Alas, this error was realised  a day or two later when the poles were cut off and moved to the side. This was indeed a curious implementation of planning for the intersection by someone on the construction crew.

Similarly a couple of years back in a neighbouring suburb other road works introduced a left turning lane at lights entering Limestone Ave. The next thing to arrive was someone putting in parking signs (same person?) for spaces alongside the street leading to the lights.

Unfortunately the signs were placed too close to the corner and to the lights. The result was that the new left hand lane–for vehicles to turn into Limestone–was only just over one car space in length. As you could have guessed, the lane was virtually useless as any vehicle and especially a turning bus, would turn into the lane but would have its rear still in the former lane.

As it happened  I used to drive through this corner often and observed this phenomenon for a couple of weeks. Eventually I was frustrated by this lack of space to turn left, snapped a photo and sent it in with a suggestion. They agreed and the parking signs were moved back several car spaces to make the corner lane workable again. Why didn’t a supervisor see this when they signed off on the work?

And one last example where those doing the work seemed oblivious to the final results. In this case they were laying down new asphalt around a well used round-about. This meant that that work had to be followed up with crews to replace the arrows on the road to indicate which lane to use to either turn left, go straight ahead, or to turn to the right.

There were two lanes going into the round-about. On the right lane they put down an arrow to indicate that you used this one to turn right (logical). And in the left lane they put down an arrow to indicate that you used this lane to turn left (also logical).

Well sort of logical. Except if you wished to go straight through as I usually did. As indicated by the new arrows, nope – there was no option for that.

It took about a week before someone showed up and the turn right arrow was replaced with a joint arrow to go right or straight ahead. One wonders again about the levels of supervision.

I suspect that there could be other stories like this from across Canberra.

Have you witnessed any?

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