Thursday, February 26, 2015

The perilous streets of Riyadh!

Riyadh is "modernizing" (the reason I'm here making money) and a big part of that is extensive infrastructure projects throughout the city. Most of the major streets are torn up as part of the construction of the new Metro. This, of course, is causing traffic paralysis throughout the city, which I expect will last the next 5 years.
The smaller streets not torn up for the Metro project have their own perils. A network of fiberoptic cables is being installed throughout the city. On the smaller streets they cut a trench in the asphalt about 3 feet away from the curb. This trench is about 6-8 inches wide and 2 feet deep. Once they've cut it and before they lay the cables they let it sit for about a week. Of course, the trench is uncovered, with no protection. (Contractors are rather lax about things like fall protection on scaffolding, hardhats, etc.) It's also fairly easy to overlook if you're not staring at the ground in front of you while crossing the street (not a good idea since cars are liable to come at any moment from any direction, even on one way streets and you should be looking in all directions at once). The trench is just the right width to allow a foot to slip well into it. I try not to think too much about the resulting effect on the knee... Little things like safety precautions on construction sites don't seem to be a part of the "modernization" concept.
Since every blog post should have a few photos here are a couple that show how a scaffold was secured to the building I work in when we had some repairs done to the exterior a few months back.

1 comment:

  1. I'm just seeing this post now. What a crazy way to secure a scaffolding. Sheesh!