What’s the big dig about anyway?

Marg, a librarian on the West Coast who reads this blog with a fair degree of faith, it appears, and whom I ahve never met, points up that my scrupulous reports on the heck the street work is causing has overwhelmed any explanation of what plan was behind the mess in the first place.  So ehre’s a quick recap:

Back in the 18th century, the British used the south mouth of a clear stream they named Fresh Water Brook to restock their ships with potable water when in port.  Fresh Water Brook (which in the Western US would pass for a river and in the Eastern US would be a deep creek) flows roughly southeast across the Halifax Peninsula.

At some point in the mid-19th century, sewer lines were laid on the Peninsula and were set to roughly trace the route of the brook (perhaps because it had cut through the rock?). Then a grid pattern of streets was laid over it–the grid running due east-west/north-south while the brook and sewer line ran southeast.  Buildings were placed on top of the brook/sewer line….

A hundred sixty years later, no surprise, the sewer pipes had had their day and needed replacement.  And some wise person decided to straighten ’em out to follow the streets (makes sense) and straighten the now undergrounded brook, too….

A couple problems with this scenario:  “underground” here means 30 feet or so, not six; and “rock means like solid not stoney…..

Thus the big dig-explosion-crater began.

And that, Marg, is your scary pre-Halloween story.


4 Responses to “What’s the big dig about anyway?”

  1. Marg Says:

    Wow that is quite the project! I hope they at least get your street sorted out before the snow flies!

  2. halifaxing Says:

    Fenwick has gone unsorted for 16 months now, so South Parkers aren’t holding their breaths…..

  3. Marg Says:

    I hope I am not intruding – I feel a conecction because of our opposite scenarios.

  4. halifaxing Says:

    Good lord, no! I am delighted to have a mirror image out there in SF!

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