Road Work, Part I

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Photos by MJ Klein

Recently, the county of Hsinchu has been modifying the main road near our home.  This is the road where the famous Shao-hui’s restaurant is located.  The road has 2 traffic islands and the county has decided to take those islands out.

Road Work

I was awakened by the sound of jack hammering.  A bucket machine had a hammer attachment and was breaking up the traffic islands.

Road Work

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What a mess!

Road Work

As you can see from this photo (and many others on this blog) the main street has many trees growing on the islands.  These would have to go, it looks like.

Road Work

I shot the following series from our 4th floor balcony.  The elevation provided a better view than at street level.  Plus it was raining and I could keep the camera under the overhang on the balcony and keep it dry.

Road Work

The bucket machine is digging out the root section of the largest tree on the block.

Road Work

Like many public works projects, there is one guy working and several “supervising.”  Notice the man with the chain saw.  He’ll be cutting up the downed trunk and branches into smaller sections for transport.

Road Work

This section has a lot of photos, I know, but it does show the action as I captured it.  The bucket is now going to cut off a few branches.  Clicking on any photo will take you to the photo page where you may view larger sizes if desired.

Road Work

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Here, the bucket machine operator has reversed the bucket direction, and is now trying to pry the tree up.  Notice that the very front of the caterpillar tracks are off the ground.  The tree was quite strong and well-rooted.  The front of the machine was lifted quite a few times but the tree wouldn’t budge yet.

Road Work

Now the operator is on the other side, trying to dig out the roots more.

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Road Work

More branch removal.

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That took off almost all the foliage.  It won’t be long now….

Road Work

The operator grabbed the top of the tree and pulled it towards him.

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And so, it fell.  I’m not too pleased with the destruction of the trees as I think they added a nice element to the neighborhood.  Now when I look out of my window or drive down the street, the neighborhood looks “naked.”

I’ll have more for you in Part II, shortly.

Thanks for reading!  Be sure to leave us your comments and an honest rating below!  Thank you!

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12 comments

  1. Pity, the original design looked really well thought-out and they were beautiful trees. Do residents have any input on these kinds of decisions, or is it just decided by the city administration? I wonder how the locals view these changes – are they annoyed by the loss of the trees, or is it considered to be progress?

    1. Stephan, the original design was nice, but 2 things (habits of local drivers) made it a non-practical design for this neighborhood. first, motor scooters would use the side lanes as dual-direction lanes. instead of driving to the end of the lane and doing a U-turn, scooters would just drive the wrong way on the outside lanes. second, during lunch time, drivers would park their cars and trucks along the inside lanes, making it virtually impossible to navigate that road. Although I love the trees, we need the road space more. not having the islands means that the scooters no longer have their little protective lane to drive the wrong way on, plus the parked vehicles will be along the far outside so the inside lanes can pass. it’s a pity that drivers here don’t use their heads and drive right.

  2. It’s a difficult choice to give up the trees in order to view a wall and windows across the street. Aside from all the serious stuff, I enjoyed the comment about all the shovel handle supervisors, this seems to be a plague suffered world wide. As a new reader, I’m enjoying some of your work in days of yore, the trip to WBGVA is a classic. Thanks for doing what you do.

    RGH

    1. RG, i would much rather have the trees as they gave the neighborhood a unique distinction from all the other “sameness” of Taiwan. oh well. thanks for reading!

  3. Sad to see those trees go? I would say almost criminal – such beautiful looking trees too.
    We had some very pretty little “red – green – blue” parrots which would gather in hundreds as my wife would say for “party time” around sunset at a local supermarket car park.. To watch them & listen to them chattering was such a pleasure. Unfortunately nobody had ever explained ‘potty training’ to them & whether it was complaints from car owners who parked close to the trees or…? but sadly the trees were removed a couple of years ago. I miss both the sight of the trees and the birds.

    1. Geoff, that place reminds me of an outdoor restaurant in Florida, where escaped pet parrots gather in the afternoon. i would have enjoyed seeing that myself. our trees, while they didn’t house exotic birds, were nevertheless quite enjoyable. it’s all over, as they say, but the crying. thanks Geoff.

  4. This article is really good. May I quote this article to the IKMT website? I’d like to share it with my friends. And I’ll indicate the source of this article and your name.

    1. sure thing YKMT. it will be the first time in history that someone asked me though! we also have a Printer Friendly Version on the single article page if you’d like to print it out. thanks.

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