WEEK 3: hole

holesOkay. Let’s study the above image carefully. Start in the upper left corner with the backhoe perched at the top of a long, dirt ramp—we’ll use the car parked there as a gauge of perspective.

Follow the ramp down into the hole, noticing that the bottom is quite deep—I would estimate 25 – 30 feet below street-level. (You can just barely glimpse the street running along the top of this photo, beyond the corrugated steel fencing.) Notice also the distinct lack of shoring (def. a structural system used to stabilize a building, structure, or trench to avoid collapse).

Now, what’s that in the hole, you ask? That’s a portion of the corrugated steel fencing, and a great deal of THE ROAD—all of which toppled into the hole after the freezing-and-melting ground gave out.

Let’s continue our tour of the hole by coming around to the foreground of the photo. Here, the edge of the hole disappears due to its proximity to the USAID office from which this photo was taken. DUE TO ITS PROXIMITY.

We’ve been assured that our office is in no danger of falling into the hole, but assurances were surely made that the road wouldn’t collapse into the hole, either. Is the booming (although dysfunctional) local construction industry to blame, or is it the fact that its rapid growth has outpaced government regulation and enforcement? Is it corruption? Simply one developer’s attempt to save a few bucks?

Now, discuss.

{Above: The view from Sam’s office. Photograph by Sam Kraegel.}




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