Mmm... routine municipal work. I don’t know about you, but when I’m looking to decompress for a few minutes during a stressful day, I like to pour a fresh cup of coffee, sit back and soak in basic tasks carried out on a day-to-day basis, like a new road being built.
So do apparently millions of other jamokes, as the small Australian town Shire of Moora Council has since found out. In an attempt to test the limits of how much everyday people care about How Things Work, the town of 2,500 decided to send a drone into the sky and capture footage of how it surfaces a new road. Like an ad for a poorly-shot infomercial or something, the town asked its Facebook page: “Have you ever seen how a road is bituminised?” No, please, go on.
“I suggested we film the work because a lot of people don’t have a perspective about how roads are bituminised ... we thought it was be a good opportunity to show what we do,” the shire’s chief executive Alan Leeson told online Australian newspaper WAnews.
The town was startled by the intense interest in something so benign that it was convinced its Facebook page had been hacked. Its total follower count jumped less than 2,000 to over 58,000 in a night, WANews says. And the video has been viewed over 14 million times. Clocking in at 3:15, that means we’ve collectively spent about 86.5 years watching the construction to Airstrip Road. Well done.
Anyway, the end result is weirdly soothing. One truck lays down an even strip of bitumen, another trails behind, sealing it. And another ... and another ...
Some comments under the Facebook post that first rocketed the Shire of Moora Council into Internet fame elaborated on what’s apparently an impressive feat, while others beamed with pride over the task.
Loren Gardner, alarmingly, posted: “It’s called ‘chip-seal’, it’s been done since the ‘30's and is good for some applications, but it doesn’t last very long, and is bad in sever weather climate, and One’s with a lot of water/ice. All road surfaces are only as good as the base they are put on, and this one looks like it’s put on sand...!”
Andrew Scarvell shot back: “And that’s how it’s done in some parts of Australia, built on sand because there’s no gravel to be had for hundreds of kilometres and the cost of carting it in is prohibitive, many roads were made this way during the sixties and seventies, only one lane wide called development roads, to allow access to remote areas for livestock cartage and those roads are still standing up to roadtrain traffic today.”
Gary Thacker summed up what we’re all thinking: “If you saw the incredible distance of the roads in Outback Australia, you would understand the need for speed. Well done Moora Shire.”