Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Another Fruitless Effort to Fix Chacala's Paved Road

I have edited this post to add an event that occured after I wrote the original version.

The general opinion around Chacala these days seems to be that it's rainy, hotter, and more humid that that was the past three summers. I agree completely. This week has been very unpleasantly hot and humid. The worst I remember, by far, in my limited, four year experience with Chacala's climate.

For the third time this past six months an effort is being made to fix damage to Chacala's only paved road. The damage began with a constant flow of spring water coming down onto the road from the hillside. And then worsened by the nightly rainstorms.A few years ago, during construction of the white hotel, several large springs were opened on the hillside above the paved road.. Since then two more building projects have opened up more springs on the hillside. The water runs down the road constantly, like a small stream. And when it rains, the spring water just gushes out on the road, in torrents. And then huge trucks carrying giant earth moving machinery, and dump trucks overloaded with dirt, rocks and gravel, just tear the muddy road apart. The trucks are mostly headed into the "development", and some to another project that requires heavy equipment. Most of the pavement seems to be destroy (excellent!!!?) in the 150 foot strip in the front on this house. Smashed to smithereens, I guess.

Of course, I personally, don't have a vehicle. And I have no problem with the trucks being forced to go slow and avoid killing people. I like the destroyed roads since they seem to slow down the speeding monster trucks a bit.
People who live along this paved road mostly seem okay with the road being a mess. Because it slows down the construction trucks and worker trucks from their normal 60 and 70 MPH, at least for a few feet. There are 10 or 11 little kids living along the paved road. And they walk to school and every where else along that curved road. Lots of adults walk there too. It's pretty dangerous. Too many vehicles driving too fast.

The previous repair job, a couple months ago, was a band aid repair. They mainly succeeded in blocking the outlet where the running water could go over the side of the road into the normal drainage arroyo on the ocean side of the road. So all the water ended up trapped on the road in front of where my neighbors and I live. Made a nice little lake and deep mud holes all over.

I think the person who arranged that roadwork tried to clean up the mess because his hotel guests were complaining about have to trek thru the deep mud and water to get to the beach. And back to the hotel. It's hard to walk thru that area in the dark. I know, since I do it everyday.This time the repair job was arranged by someone else, whose trucks and equipment go up and the down the road constantly. He told me he was fixing the road because he doesn't want his family vehicles being torn up.

Again, this repair job today didn't deal with effectively draining the water off the road either. Even with my helpful suggestions about open up the drainage area on the ocean side of the road.

The amazing thing what happened after this latest grader semi-blocked the new drainage ditch along the uphill side of the road. That ditch was dug by the last guys with big machines. A couple of days later, (today, as I write this) the guy brought a worker back to clean out the run-off ditch on the uphill side of the road. It had been filled in. It looks likes he's doing a thorough job, cleaning out mud and making room for the water to flow. I am very impressed. However, so far, the water still has no where to go except to puddle up in the road. Maybe he has a plan. But meanwhile, the water continues to end up in the middle of the road. '

Right now about half the water coming down the road from the hillside springs automoatically goes to the ocean side of the road. With the drainage space opened up again, all that water could go into the arroyo and on downhill. But right now, that water comes back over to the middle of the road and and joins the water coming down the hill side of the road. And ends up in a lake in front of my neighbors .But like I said, maybe this guy has a plan.

First me, and then Julio opened up the drainage space. That's two times. and two times graders have filled it in. I don't feel like doing it again. for one thing, my landlady's husband again walked off the pick I replaced the handle on. Oh w

So, after the 150 feet of "repaired" road, the water still doesn't have any place to go. No way to drain off the road. But I think it's definitely better than it was. However, each time some works on it, the road looks nice until the next rains, and then it's another big mess.This stretch of road looks smooth right now. More or less. And, of course, this afternoon, once the truck drivers noticed the change, by the end of the day today everyone was speeding right by here again. And maybe it will rain tonight, and maybe not.

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