Tuesday 22 August 2023

Unexpected Asphalt

        When we first bought our house, the road that ran past our house was packed dirt.  It was solid and firm usually, but could be dusty, and when we got a lot of rain; muddy.  It was such a relief when it was finally seal-coated.  That is a process where gravel is laid down, packed, then a coating of tar put on it and pressed further by the traffic.  It was a solid surface, a bit rough, but so much better than the dirt surface that we had.

    We lived with the seal-coating for a long time, then the next time the road was resurfaced, they actually put down asphalt, just like on a normal road.  That was wonderful; smooth and a pleasure to drive and bike on.  We were spoiled.  However time passed and the next time our road needed resurfacing, I was dismayed to discover that they replaced the smooth asphalt, with rough sealcoat again.  It was a real step backward and I cursed it every time I rode my bike to work.

    In the early spring, crews started tearing up sections of our deteriorating road, creating a mixed roadway of old sealcoating an gravel.   We lived with that for months.  I couldn’t figure out what was going on because of all the many graveled sections, but I assumed they were just going to seal coat those gravel sections.

    Then I was left in total disbelief when they resurfaced Highway 16 on both sides of McBride with seal coating.  Then the paving crew left, leaving the community with horrific thick clouds so dust every time a vehicle drove on the highway.  Yes, they seal-coated the only highway in the area and the only way in or out of McBride, leaving it rough, just a tad better than a gravel road.  Now, when our windows are open or when we are outside, we can now hear the roar of tires going down the highway which is a mile away from our house.  

    After seeing what had been done to the highway, and seeing the paving crew leave the area, I was pretty pessimistic about what was going to be done to our road.  I wondered if our road was even going to be dealt with, leaving us with sections of gravel, without even sealcoating those sections.  

    So you can imagine my surprise and delight yesterday, to see actual asphalt paving being done in front of our house.  They have paved our road all the way from the seal-coated highway.

    I know everyone around here was upset with having the highway seal-coated, so I can imagine they are now probably pretty miffed at seeing our secondary road paved with asphalt.

    Having a smooth road to drive and bike on is, of course, wonderful, but even though I had nothing to do with it, I feel a bit guilty that we have gotten a smooth road, while the highway that everyone has to use, and other secondary roads, just got seal coating.  I guess we will just have to swallow our guilt and try to enjoy our smooth road.


View my paintings:  davidmarchant2.ca

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