Saturday, June 12, 2010

Under Construction

The construction along Bull Creek Road has been nothing but a big pain in the neck. First, we put up with two years of construction mess while the new fancy apartment complex got built. (Every day, a mattress delivery truck double parks outside, gumming up the turn into dog park.) Now we have the annex to the Westminster Manor going up. (My old man always used to add an extra syllable to Westminster--"Westminister.") I stupidly tried to ride my bike down Bull Creek the day that the City of Austin was digging up the water pipes, too. I was going to get a mammogram, but I needed a defibrillator by the time I had navigated around flaggers and tar trucks and dump trucks and taco vans. I know, I know. Central Austin is a desirable piece of, um, real estate. Fine, fine, and fine. I just hope I live long enough and well enough so that one day I can retire and move into Westminster myself. (Do they take dogs?)

Still, I have to admit that while I hate driving on the same roads as big rigs that deliver gravel or pull land-moving machinery on double-wide platforms, I think construction machinery is cool. I have always wished there were an amusement park for grown-ups where we could don hard hats and then use backhoes and bull dozers and jack hammers. You know, push dirt around and smash stuff up. (I did drive a tractor once in West Texas. It was a small one. I got caught on the gate post a couple of times but managed to drive across a field without tipping over or stalling out. I could have walked in the time it took, and I did not get to cut wheat or plow a field or listen to AM radio.)

I am not alone in this fascination. When I went to Portland a couple of years ago, the city set up bleachers around a major construction site in downtown. Hundreds of people (mostly guys, but also some gals), sat and ate their lunches while men in hard hats dug a big hole in the ground. It was fascinating. And when I was in Berlin in the late 90s and it was under serious reconstruction after the end of the Cold War, the cranes were actually programmed to do a little choreographed dance at night. The Germans can be so creative.

What could we do to make this construction site more palatable and less intrusive? Could we wrap it in pink plastic (a la Christo)? (Of course, in this town, the plastic wrap would have to be burnt orange.) Hmm. I guess as long as all the construction stays on the west side of Bull Creek Road, that will have to be enough.

Ta. -z

1 comment:

  1. Nice photo! Very cool.

    My favorite part is when those construction guys stroll into the middle of the street and hold up a hand - a freakin' HAND- to stop traffic going 35 mph down Bull Creek so some truck can pull out. Shouldn't those guys have flags or those light sticks that the airplane handlers use?

    I like that giant crane too!


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