BrownhillsBob's #365daysofbiking

On a bike, riding somewhere. Every day, rain or shine.

Posts tagged ‘civil engineering’

#365daysofbiking Cornering

Tuesday, October 20th 2020 – Home late, I found myself waiting at Streets Corner lights in Walsall Wood, which are on a fairly long cycle. This junction was rebuilt a couple of years ago, and has been made a lot smoother in operation, and nicer to use with added filters, slip roads and refuges.

You know a good job was made of the redesign as you never hear anyone moan about it now. They don’t praise it, either, but it doesn’t register as an annoyance which has to be the measure of a great success in the UK.

With the imposing Ivy House flats, rebuilt in the early 2000s and named after a house demolished in their construction and the wide open, quiet tarmac, it’s an interesting night time subject while I wait patiently and dream of a hug and mug of tea.

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#365daysofbiking – Better days

February 5th – My energy didn’t give out so I went full circle and attended to an errand in Walsall Wood.

I passed under the Black Cock Bridge, named after the nearby pub. A familiar if ramshackle affair, the bridge has been lifted several times due to subsidence and now exists in a sort of limbo: It’s not got much life left, yet replacement of the structure, on a notorious rat-run, would not be easy and due to the aforementioned subsidence, would probably be better and an under bridge with and aqueduct above.

I suspect eventually it will be closed to through traffic and left, like Hollanders Bridge further up in Walsall Wood.

It’s seen better days, as have I, but I hope there’s a few more to come yet for me. For the first time in weeks, I feel like there might actually be a summer eventually, and wellness might once again be mine.

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#365daysofbiking Step on up


January 31st – Wearily plodding to Chasewater – not easy in the post-hospital condition in which I found myself – I stopped to note that the new steps between the McLean Way – the former rail line through Brownhills and the canal at the Newtown Viaduct were now complete, and had a lady feeling channel just like the ones at Bullows Road.

The steps are gorgeous and very well thought out, as I’ve come to expect from this volunteer, mainly OAP led project.

I never thought I’d see this come to pass but I’m so glad it has. My thanks and support go out to all involved.

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#365daysofbiking No through road

December 1st – Green Lane is a major rat run between Walsall Wood and Sheffield, and has been closed for some weeks for drainage work. Theoretically supposed to be reopening the next day, I went to see how the works were progressing.

Oh dear, I don’t think that’ll be open for a while yet. I guess bad weather must have really held them up.

Since there’s no pedestrian way around, looks like I’ll be coming back along the A461 for a week or so yet…

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#365daysofbiking Conical

November 30th – Chasetown has Christmas lights for the first time in a long while too, which is nice to see. Oddly though, their two Christmas trees (which appear identical, which must be a clue to their origin) are artificial, conical arrangements covered in some kind of canvas.

There’s one at usual near the former police station, and one outside the new offices of Chasetown Civil Engineering.

They’re interesting things, not entirely sure I like them but they are very striking.

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#365daysofbiking A heritage of bridge-building?

August 9th – Back in Telford following morning rain, the new footbridge linking the railway station with the town centre seems to be confused about it’s role: is it a swimming pool or a ‘State of the art facility any town should be proud of’ as one fan of this bizarrely dysfunctional bit of civil engineering recently chided me on Twitter.

In recent weeks, someone has drilled holes in the bridge deck to drain the water. They just clog up and it still floods.

And besides, that water just swamps the platform below.

This bridge is an awful design and has no rainwater control measures whatsoever. And it cost 10 million quid.

Telford, your emperor is stark, bollock naked.

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#365daysofbiking A sign of failure

 

February 25th – Telford station, Monday morning.

I notice we now have an ‘Official Procedure’ for when the lift on the new pedestrian bridge breaks down.

‘Complimentary’ taxis will run the stranded passengers from one side of the station to the other.

If you spend nine million pounds on a new bridge to fix disability access issues, then omit a ramp and replace it with an unreliable lift meaning punters can become stranded if it breaks – you have failed as a designer and actually made the problem you set out to solve worse.

This is an idiotic disgrace. Those that allowed this to happen should be ashamed.

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#365daysofbiking Surface tension

February 20th – As I headed home to Brownhills on the canal, my attention was snagged by the noise from the Lindon Road, and then I remembered that it was being resurfaced overnight.

With my love of machinery, I couldn’t resist taking a look.

The dust, noise and spectacle were fascinating, and I love how the road surface is recycled into new tarmac.

The operation is a well-practiced, highly co-ordinated ballet of trucks, machines and people each with their own task.

A captivating sight.

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#365daysofbiking Hanging around

December 19th – Spotted high above the street, steel erectors chat and dangle whilst working on the new Primark in Birmingham, seemingly oblivious to life below, and completely unaware of the fear such feats inspire in many of their audience.

The new store is what used to be the Pavillions shopping mall, and the conversion symbolises the malaise in these 80s temples to consumerism – so far Birminham has lost 4 – The Pavillions, City Plaza, Paradise Forum and Fletchers Walk. I find this shift in retail thinking interesting.

The aerial daredevils had safety gear, and were confident and clearly competent. But the lad dangling from the sliding support in the C channel: Looking at how that’s fixed, that’s a lot of confidence in someone else’s mechanical engineering skills.

My respect and best wishes to them. I respect anyone who can work at heights.

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#365daysofbiking Endless rain

December 16th – Delivering Christmas cards in Chasetown, the light rain turned to a downpour, and although the Headquarters of Chasetown Civil Engineering and the nearby pub The Uxbridge looked beautiful with their lights reflected on wet tarmac, the rain had me low.

I tried long exposure photography on the Chasetown Bypass footbridge, but the weather was determined to wreck my plans.

I returned home wet, cold and despondent. This time last year, I think we had snow. Which at least is fun.

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