A whiter shade of grey

So for the last few months the City of Perth (or Main Roads Department, I never really paid attention) has been ripping up the grey concrete pavers along St Georges Terrace from Victoria Avenue to Barrack Street and replacing them with… grey concrete pavers. When I first saw this work starting I got a little excited. In the previous months the other end of St Georges Terrace from Barrack Street on up had some impressive road works which included replacing those same grey, dreary everyday concrete pavers with nice, modern slate paving. It’s still grey, but it looks sweet. They redid the curbing and generally tarted the place up.

Part of my soul-crushing walk to work suddenly became somewhat happier, invoking pleasant feelings encouragement to overcome the perils of my toil which lay ahead. Funny how simple paving can do that.

I work at the start of St Georges Terrace near Victoria Ave, so it was with great delight that one morning I saw workmen (and an associated support crew consisting of a woman with a “Caution” lollipop sign) ripping up the pavement down the Victoria Ave end of the Terrace. We were finally going to see this old, chewing gum and vomit stained sidewalk replaced with stones of happiness. I’d feel like Michael Jackson skipping along to the tune of Billie Jean when making my way to work along the Terrace.

Months later, the reality is quite different to the dream.

What I’m left with is the same uninspiring, bleak, dreary trudge along dull grey concrete pavement. The only difference being that it’s a slightly lighter shade of grey:

Old pavement on the left, new pavement on the right

Compare the quality

Not finished though

I can only guess that this was all done in anticipation of CHOGM. The leaders of all the Commonwealth Governments, including the Queen Her-Royal-self, are coming to Perth to catch up, make promises and generally do whatever Heads of Government do when they get together.

No expense is being spared. Everyone in Perth is even invited to a Barbeque to have a hotdog or a chop and salad with the Queen of England and her husband on the weekend of the 26th. And, because they’re reportedly being put up at the Duxton Hotel and at Government House down the end of St Georges Terrace it seems the City of Perth decided to rip up the concrete and replace it with lighter concrete so the World Leaders can enjoy power walking up to Kings Park or perhaps getting in on the free lunches on offer at Council House.

In reality I think all this could have more easily been achieved with a couple two man teams with high-pressure water cleaners. It would have taken significantly less time and cost nowhere near as much and produced much the same result with far less disruption.