Six years ago I explained in a post that doing maintenance comes quite natural to the Dutch. As a people we like things neat and tidy. Dutch even has different terms for a complete overhaul of things and for the regular keeping things in order.
Cycle routes in the Netherlands are constantly being updated. Wanting to keep things tidy and in a good order is a Dutch trait and you see that reflected in the streets. The Dutch language has different terms for small repairs and everyday maintenance (‘klein onderhoud’ or ‘small or minor maintenance’) and major maintenance works such as a complete resurfacing which is called ‘groot onderhoud’ or ‘large or major maintenance’. The latter is scheduled with regular intervals, the first is executed on a need to do basis. ‘Major maintenance’ for streets takes place at intervals of about 30 years. The pipes and cables in a street will then be renewed and a complete new surface including new kerbs and surfacing material (asphalt or pavers) will be used for the new street design. Since all streets have a different life span this process is constant and continuous. At almost every time there is a street that is going through a major maintenance treatment.
In that post I then showed examples of ‘major maintenance’. In this shorter post during my holidays I can now show you an example of ‘small maintenance’ or simply not previously scheduled repair works.
An important access street in ʼs-Hertogenbosch is Rietveldenweg. It featured in an earlier post. This street connects a major business park to the A59 motorway at the north-side of the city, and it was clearly showing wear from the heavy commercial traffic. Especially the cycleway crossings at one intersection and the cycleways at some locations where heavy motor traffic often crosses the surface showed potholes and cracks. The damage was not severe enough to replace everything, but parts of the surface certainly had to be replaced. Some of the potholes had temporarily been repaired already. That is usually done by opening a pothole. The edges wide around are then straightened and then the removed asphalt is replaced by bricks. Very close to the intersection that needed repairs another intersection was converted into a roundabout. Right after that reconstruction was finished (I will show you that conversion in an upcoming post) this project was undertaken. I have the distinct impression that the municipality took the opportunity to let the same contractor – which had all the machines on location already – repair the damage I described before. All the work was done in a weekend. The road was only planned to be closed from Friday night at 9 to Monday morning at 5, but when I went to have a look on Sunday evening the work was already done and the street was reopened that Sunday evening. The before and after pictures (stills from this week’s video) show you what a difference these repairs make!
This week’s video: minor maintenance and repairs of the cycleways.