Rest Area 300m: June 2006

Friday, June 30, 2006


I suppose we get it easy ...


Thursday, June 29, 2006

Sole Survivor

We could have had a holiday in Australia today.

You see that light blue cable over the top of the culvert pipe...
Thats a fibre optic phone/data line.

One false move with the digger, a shovel or even a sharp rock, and the boss said we better start swimming.

Thats why there is a couple of marker posts taped around it.

The bank had collapsed here exposing the cable. We put another pipe in and backfilled the trench.

Very gingerly.

The Stock Exchange didn't crash, and the Eftpos machines were going on the way home, so no chilly swim.

Just as well ... though I can swim like a fish...

A flounder

I lie on the bottom and look up ....

Mountains & Work

click for bigger

The mornings are clear and frosty at the moment.

In the early morning light Mt Taranaki catches the sun.
On the run home, I can see the mountains of the central plateu, Ruapehu and Ngaruhoe away on the horizon.

It looks like it's going to be a cracker ski season.

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Travelling Circus

click pic for bigger

Working outside a country school (Ahititi) always generates an audience.

The boys were fascinated and asked endless questions.

I told them we were a crack team of specialist roadworkers, especially brought in for the job.

The girl, a blond, was totally disinterested till she spotted my camera and a photo opportunity.

She sprinted to the fence and never took her eye off the camera.

She will go far that girl.

Later when we had lunch, (Hot Scones were provided) it was great to see the whole age range playing together, the older ones looking after the young ones.

This school is booming.

We were there to put in a bus turn round area. The roll has grown, and so has the school bus.

We were the biggest show in town ...

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

It's OK up front...

Even if I fire up my truck for a 10 minute warm up in the morning, the heater struggles for a while.

We are having some humungous frosts.

Tomorrow I have a goodly load of metal to haul to work.

The first hill should see me all toasty & warm

Monday, June 26, 2006

Artistry in Tar

Spreading Hotmix on the sunny side of Mt Messenger.

I kept thinking we should be sprinkling carrot seeds...

The Wrench of Loss

Long lost spanner
Mt Messenger.

Sunday, June 25, 2006

Hi Ho, Hi Ho, It's Off To Work We Go ...

"Short forecast for all New Zealand to midnight Monday 26-Jun-2006

From Northland to northern Taranaki, Taupo and Bay of Plenty
Fine and frosty."

Oh Joy!

Potholing in the sun ...

Laundry Bill

I bet the driver of this bus saw his life flash before his eyes.

Saturday, June 24, 2006

Friday, June 23, 2006

A Diamond In The Rough

Every now and then, amongst the dross on the net, ... "cat blogging & what I did today" ... you read a post that makes the eyes fill.

Welcome back David.

Pressure ...

State Highway 1 Closed
State Highway 2 Closed
State Highway 5 Closed
Napier - Taupo Closed
Doddery's Road Open

For most of the day, we had all the North Island's traffic travelling through our highway.

Grumpy detoured travellers & heavy trucks in a never ending stream.

Most would have had at least another 100 kms added to their journey.

It is at times like this that show just how vulnerable some parts of SH 3 are.
An accident at any of our more worrisome parts of the road would have the whole Island grinding to a halt.

As it was a truck accident near Inglewood forced a local detour.
We have areas where no detours are possible at all.

A lot of money is being thrown at roading. Most is being sucked up for ring roads & motorways by the big cities.

Out here on the highway we see bugger all.

Just constant patch up jobs.

In the old Ministry Of Works days, they would start at one end of a highway, widening, straightening, bridgebuilding & rebuilding to the other end.
They built bloody good roads too.

We seem to battle away with disintegrating roads while flash new motorways are built in Auckland to get commuters to work ten minutes quicker.

As you may gather,

I'm a tired & grumpy roadworker tonight...

Thursday, June 22, 2006

The Big Chill

Another rather frigid day.

Cold enough to freeze the nuts off my truck.

I suppose we are getting off rather lighter than the middle of the island, and of course the deep south.

But Death Valley, Arizona looks pretty attractive at the moment...

Or a nice stroll along a sunny waterfront...

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Orbiting ...

We all know this one ...


click for bigger

Today we tackled a corner on Mt Messenger that has been causing us a lot of grief.

It is just north of the tunnel. A tight narrow 25km corner that has swallowed huge quantities of premix and still resembles the far side of the moon.

There is only one thing to do. Dig it up and drain it.
Find out where the water is getting in and stop it.

You can see how wet it is where the metal and clay meets. Water had been getting in from a drain at the side of the road, travelling under the road on the clay layer and making the road a waterlogged sponge.

It was wet & cold, but satisfying to find a problem and fix it.

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Garden Ornaments ...

This apparently is an art object.

If anyone out there would like their own, all you have to do is supply a car.

I will then show you where to park it.

Of course any eBay profits to be split down the middle.

Mind you everything is bigger in the USA

Monday, June 19, 2006

Purple Heart.

I'm beginning to wonder if my latest career move was a wise choice.

Lunches in the sun by a pretty stream are a distant memory.

It is cold, It is wet, & the winds are biting.

We are shorthanded.

The roads are soggy and waterlogged, potholes are breeding prolifically. Today I shovelled about 5 tonnes of premix into holes a cluster bomber pilot would be proud of.

Adding to our woe, traffic unable to travel down the centre of the island, is coming through our stretch, most of it heavy trucks.

Then of course there are the odd surprises. Like the rocks that I came upon, on Saturday. I managed to get one of them off the road with the truck & a chain. In fact I'm now a bit of an expert at this.

The cavalry arrived with a front end loader, just as another lot came down. Was I pleased to see them.

My truck is muddy and the cab full of damp moldering clothes and wet weather gear. It also bears it's first scar. Wriggling off the road to deal with a fallen tree, at some ungodly hour in the morning, I didn't see a branch sticking out. It gouged a piece out of a lower plastic door panel. Oh the shame...

The one bright spot, believe it or not, is the behaviour of the travelling public, who seem to driving a lot safer and saner than usual.

Long may it continue ...

Sunday, June 18, 2006

Rainy Day Job

A dedicated digger operator will take every opportunity to do a little homework...

Saturday, June 17, 2006

Where was I going again?


Great Aunt Annie reports;

"When I was about 14 I had the happy experience of watching a tallish van heading for a low overbridge.
With slow motion inevitability, the van came to a sudden stop as the top two feet crashed into the brickwork.
The driver leapt from his cab and ran around making despairing gestures, like a scene from an old silent movie.

I'm ashamed to say I thought it was hilarious and I cycled away chuckling to myself."

Friday, June 16, 2006

Laces To Follow

A Correspondent of quality, has sent me this photo which he claims is his duck shooting punt being put away after a successful season.

Look closely though and there are two.

They have to be Jonah Lomu's boots being taken to Twickenham.

I think I have stumbled upon the reason NZ is not that brilliant at soccer however...

Thursday, June 15, 2006

Winter Woes

Stop/Go Man, SH4 in torrential rain (click 4 bigger)

Working on the roads in the winter is no fun.

The vehicles are full of damp wet weather gear and changes of clothing.

We have had icy winds, the road shoulders are soggy and treacherous, it is easy to get stuck.

Quite a few of us have been fighting the flu.

Yesterday we had another truck accident. The crew had a long cold day. I didn't, I was tucked into my sick bed.

I slept for about 18 hours and then felt good enough to work today.

I keep thinking of the line crews and grader drivers etc in the South Island at the moment.

They must be getting exhausted.

And there is more bad weather to come ...

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

System Recovery

I think he's coming round ...

We can open the road now...

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Oh Woe !

I only seem to be running on two cylinders, and am overheating badly.

I must away to my bed.

Alas the only books I have are about sick or dead people, and I am totally uninterested in the World Cup.

Never mind

I've got a sick note ...
(click for bigger)

I just have to alter the date ...

Monday, June 12, 2006

On Friday, I was given my own work chainsaw to carry in the truck.

I live on a stretch of the road that is prone to tree falls and branches flying about in storms.

Just as well.

I had to cut my way to work this morning and cut my way home again. When I arrived I even had one of my own trees down over the road.

It was cold & wet, windy and busy.

Apart from storm damage we also had a substantial diesel spill on Mt Messenger, again.

A weekend crash took out signs, sight rails, street light and bus shelter on a major intersection which we had to repair.

Nothing like digging post holes in a torrential downpour.

We have pretty good wet weather gear, but you still get soaked and covered in mud.

I have yet to find wet weather gear that can cope with physical work in heavy rain & keep you dry & warm.
I'd buy my own if I had too.

Better yet.
If there is a manufacturer out there that wants some "tested", I'm your man...

In fact, what's good enough for F1 drivers, should be good enough for roadworkers.

I could make a bomb flogging advertising space on my overalls.

"Acme Shovels" - "Proudly Prodding With Pete's Picks"

The mind boggles...

Mondays ...

'Stinker' of a day ahead - Metservice

"Severe northerly gales, with damaging gusts of 120km/h to 150km/h, were expected over all the North Island, accompanied by heavy rain in some areas."

Oh Great.
Well enjoy your warm offices ...

Sunday, June 11, 2006

A Small "Do " ...

We farewelled our escapee over the weekend.

Ducks, turkies, and several species of grass eating mamals were spitted, roasted & Hangied.

We drank a truckload of beer.

I don't feel all that well.

I think we should close the road tomorrow ....

Saturday, June 10, 2006

Alway's On A Friday ...

The Taranaki Rescue Helicopter sidles gingerly in for a landing on Mt Messenger.

It's not hard to see the skill required to safely get close to an accident scene.

A car & van collided on a slippery corner with one injured.

I had only time to grab a shaky photo, as we tried to get rid of a fuel spill.

Diesel leaking from insecure truck fuel caps is a curse on this stretch of road. This is especially true of the shady south side, which is also continually wet.
When you also add the mind set of the would-be rally driver to the mix, which this part of the road also seems to inspire, you have a potent mix, which keeps us busy.

This is one section of road that my fellow Kiwis should treat with respect.

It Bites...

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Thursday, June 08, 2006

Free !

One of our crew is escaping.

He has sold his house, and all but a trailer load of stuff, and is going to buy & live on a boat.

To succumb to midlife crisis so easily...

And in the pot hole season...

Of course we are all secretly envious.


Wednesday, June 07, 2006

When Grannies Go Bad.

I'm not too sure what happened here.

The most likely scenario is that the kind roadworker, has been viciously attacked by the crazed old lady, after he offered to escort her across the road.

The bottle in his hand is also obviously heart pills.

Now she is going to steal his shoe.

Tuesday, June 06, 2006


Duck shooting season, or bird flu?

All is not well in the Magic Kingdom.

Cold Comfort

The boss had a bit of trouble getting us out on the road this morning.

We had a really good frost

It was cold.

Once we were driven out of the warm office though, and the sun finally arrived it was a lovely crisp, sunny day.

We had a chance to get out and check the road after the long weekend.

From now on, very early in the morning, some poor soul (not me) has to check the areas of road that ice up, and put grit on them.

I would do it, ... but I'm still sulking.

I was hoping for at least the Gold Shovel with Clusters in the Queens Birthday Honours List.

So I will stay in bed.

Anyway, I bet the Queen doesn't have to get up at 3 am.

Monday, June 05, 2006

Lord Of The Flys

This smug bugger is Lord Harrington.

He is looking smug because he has a new stainless steel eagle on his Chateau, but mostly because he is a Lord, and I'm not.

I missed out again in the Queens Birthday Honours.

I can't understand it.

Tana has been made Companion in the Order Of The Handbag.

The rest are a rum lot. Not a roadworker amoungst them.

Still the Queen Of Petone is still to dish out a few baubles.

I'm not one to grovel, but she is a lovely lady, and there are rumours of chocolate.

Saturday, June 03, 2006

Have A Royal Time

You can shove your republican nonsense.

Queens have birthdays.

Birthdays mean holidays

Holidays are cool.

Friday, June 02, 2006

Pomp & Expectancy

"For Pavement Services, in the great pothole epidemic of 2005 ...Services to the Queens Highway etc. etc."

With the impending Queens birthday Honours list due to be announced soon, I may have to knock up a new letterhead.

Lord Fart has a nice ring to it

Earl Fart sounds a little too country & western

Baronet Fart could cause a problem,
("A man holding a British hereditary title of honor reserved for commoners, ranking immediately below the barons and above all orders of knighthood except the Garter")
... the abbreviation is Bart.

We have of course our own coat of arms.

" an Escocheon reversed, Sanguine: This is given to him that discourtously useth a Maid or Widow, against her Will; or flies from his Sovereign's Banner.

a Delse, Tenne: This is due to him that revoketh his Challenge, or eateth his Words.

a Point dexter parted: Given to a meer Braggadochio.

two Gussets, Sanguine. In Abatement there can be but one Gusset; and he that is given to Lust shall wear it on the right Side, a Drunkard on the left. "

I have also always fancied one of those three cornered hats with a huge feather on it. I'm not too keen on a garter.

I suppose I better also start thinking of a nice humble press release.

"This honour is shared with all my, most some of my fellow roadworkers"
This honour is all mine, but I would like to acknowledge mention in passing.....

Obviously this is going to take a fair bit of work to get the right amount of humbleness, I'll get back to you....

Thursday, June 01, 2006


This has me a bit puzzled.

It is either the aftermath of a spin-out in a roller Grand Prix

A very windy day

A seismic event

Or, more likely, a transporter loading "incident", the transporter having fled the scene.

Rock Picks

We have spent the day helping in a survey of the Awakino Tunnel.
Following yesterday's washing, the surveyors moved in and conducted a detailed examination and mapping of the rock in the tunnel and the area around it.

To do this we have to stop traffic for ten minutes or so at a time.
This creates some frustration and quite a lot of interest.

Everyone has an opinion on what should be done, the favourite being, ..." a heap of dynamite, because it wouldn't take much to shift that rock ...

It is a short tunnel, only about 50 metres, but they have no idea of what is above them, you can't really see from the road.

From over the river however, you can see what is involved.
There is a power of a lot of rock up there...

We will await a decision with interest.

Doddery's Odds

Drilling a 2 lane wider tunnel 40 to 1
Blasting a big cut 80 to 1
Bridging 30 to 1
"Too Hard Basket" Evens
"Too expensive, 'Later' " 11/5 On

Male. Lives in New Zealand/North Island/The Road, speaks English. Eye color is blue.
This is my blogchalk:
New Zealand, North Island, The Road, English, Male.

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