Monday, March 10, 2014

Road Construction Nepali Style

Road construction here is crazy. Imagine a two way street with a little bit of a sidewalk on either side. Now, take away the fresh grass you also imagined with that and throw in a whole lot of dirt and trash. As the city grows, just like in America, you want to widen the streets to help the traffic move through with ease. The only problem here is that there is no room to expand. If you take out the sidewalks (which by the way, no one walks on) there is a building right there so what do they do? Carve off part of the sidewalk. 
If that wasn't enough room then you literally carve off the face of the building. A shop that was once 12 feet deep is now only 3 feet deep! Can you imagine what code enforcement would do in the States if you did this? It's so weird to watch.

There is one road by our house that we take every time we have to leave by taxi. We call it the bumpy road. Road's in Nepal are normally bumpy but this one is different.

During the road construction there would be a stone wall surrounding some property, but the government wants to widen the road. So they build a new wall a few feet behind the old one, and then destroy the old wall.

In America, you know how we always think, why don't they finish one section before they go on to another section, here it is the same. When they build the new walls and are ready to destroy the old wall, they do the destroying all at one time. So on both sides of the road they knock down these walls. The rubble is now covering the whole road and a once bumpy road is now, "watch your head so when it bobbles it doesn't smack against the side of the car bumpy."

I did find out one of the reasons they do it this way is because every has one job that they do. You won't really find a "Jack of all trades" here. You have the wall builder, the wall destroyer, the rubble carriers, the man who hammers, the man who drills, the man who sweeps, the man who wires things, and on and on.

Over the next few weeks they have these ladies come through with baskets on their backs and slowly pick up the rubble to remove it out of the way. It's really weird. And I'm so grateful that I don't have to carry bricks all day long.

When they are ready to work on the road or the building next to the road or anything, they take all their supplies and dump them in the road. I'm constantly having to remind the kids that if a rock is on the ground someone probably owns it and would get mad if you kicked it or took it.

Here is a view of rubble from the taxi window.

Some supplies

When looking at the next picture my house (you can't see it in the picture, but directionally) is on the left hand side back behind those buildings. So we use this road a lot.

The sidewalk on the left, and probably the right too, they are about to get rid of. They are going to go in and take out the sidewalk leaving only maybe a foot of it. If you follow the line down you can see where they will have to start taking out buildings eventually.

When they tear it up I will post another picture so you can see the difference.

So next time you are driving through construction, just think, it could be worse.

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