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There are two seasons: winter and construction

There are two seasons: winter and construction

23.08.2013 From our online archive
Dan Franch comments on the eruption of roadworks and construction in Luxembourg in recent weeks - a sure sign that winter is over.

By Dan Franch

Spring is in the air, and so are a lot of cranes, hovering in the Luxembourg sky. I’m not talking about those that sweep through the clouds with long outstretched necks. Well, actually, the ones I have in mind do just that. But they aren’t living, breathing creatures, and they don’t engage in any ritualistic mating dance.

The cranes I am talking about are metal and typically yellow. They, along with traffic cones, barriers, and barrier tape, the hard hats and neon vests (excuse me while I dab my eyes due to the disappearance of construction horses) have been out in full force this spring, more prevalent than in years past.

One explanation for all those cranes flocking in the sky right now is that it was a long winter, thus work couldn’t start till recently.

Another reason might be job creation. Even last week’s edition of The Economist suggested that one way to lower unemployment is for “construction companies to get approval for projects”. There’s nothing wrong with that.

It brings to mind my time as a truck driver in Chicago in the 90s. Plenty of road works and building started up come spring. As the Windy City folk say, “There are two seasons; winter and construction.”

That could be the case this year in The Grand Duchy’s capital. Structures are being knocked down. Roads are being repaired. Sidewalks and curbs are being torn up to make way for new pipe works. Some streets have turned into slalom courses or games of chicken with oncoming traffic. Particularly during rush-hour, drivers grow impatient and tempers flare.

I know mine did as I raced around The Windy City making deliveries. But I had no personal attachment to the freight I was transporting. It’s different here in Luxembourg. I have to be more mindful of the way I manoeuvre, since the cargo I am hauling around is my family.