Old-time Road Repairs in the Twenty First Century
I have to go through this neighborhood often due to the one way streets here. You cannot always take the streets you want to take.
Today, they were repairing the street. My suspension was stretched to its max. So, I stopped to talk with them.
To start, someone marks the road with chalk. They mark the spots that would turn into pot holes - though they do not really ever get to that point.
Then they use this machine that vibrates the bricks in order to loosen them a bit. And they start pulling them out and tossing them into a pile.
The idea is to even out the underlying dirt. There is never any cement or other kind of glue, as it were, holding these cobblestones in place. It is just a large scale, IRL Tetris game for grown men. Then they get paid and buy touch screen devices for their little-ones so they can play digital Tetris (and other games).
They do spend some time on their feet as they rake and even out the dirt and small gravel into a flat surface. Then they wiggle and hammer the stones into an even new road. The idea is to restack the cobblestones into a nice dove-tail pattern on the street.
When it seems they have the odd-height cobbles arranged so that they are flat, they are ready to fill in the gaps between them. That is done at the end of this job. They dump more of the same dirt and gravel mix on top of it all and sweep the filling over the surface to fill the gaps.
I stood around talking to these guys, most people spark up a conversation with me because of my strange electric vehicle ( my @s18 ). When I have time, I stop and take an interest in someone else's day as they work.
I have noticed that many of the regular roads are being converted to cobblestones in the oldest part of San Telmo. I may do another one of these pictorials so you can see the results. I will have a better view of how the end result looks at that time.
Thanks for letting me bring this to you.