Winter’s First Strike. Paving Screeches to a Halt

With the road all ground up and flattened and graded gravelly smooth on a Friday afternoon, it seemed a sure thing for the asphalt to start going on top Monday morning. After all, Friday was almost 14C and the construction guys were going about in shirt sleeves.

Ha!  Not so.

Over the weekend the temperature plunged below freezing, the clouds lowered and glowered, leaves blackened and strange white dots began flying past the windows.

Something distant memory recognized as snow!

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Plunging temperature, first snow, forlorn machines and a muddy road.

The season flipped from balmy to winter. Cold set in, the wind set in, the white stuff covered the ground and did not disappear. Soon, the road itself was white. And, shocking to see, the first sand and salt truck of the season lumbered past spreading a brown stream of traction out behind.

Were the pavers going to pave over snow?  Apparently not.  Monday morning rolled around. No crews arrived before sunup to climb over the machines and warm up the throbbing engines in the half dark. No indeed.  No sign of movement at all.  The rollers, the graders, the long necked white RoadTec machine sat in silence, like abandoned dinosaurs.  All day no one came near them.

All week no one came near them.

The  snow stayed, the  salted road turned into a slurry of liquid mud that flew up and coated every vehicle that drove past, blotting back windows and spewing grittily over the sides.

So have the pavers sadly miscalculated the weather and failed to beat winter? Did they start something they can’t finish?  Are we who live on the road condemned to a winter of spraying mud and rough gravel shakes if we want to go to town?

All of us wait anxiously to see.

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