A reader in California responds to the report of "zipper streets" in Shanghai -- thoroughfares that are continually dug up, paved over, and dug again for (seemingly ill-planned) maintenance:

>>It's by no means an exclusively Chinese phenomenon. My San Francisco office is on the ground floor a hundred feet from the intersection of Battery and Washington Streets. That intersection was completely ripped up and repaved three times between early 2009 and mid-2010, with weeks of jackhammers each time.<<

And from a friend in Holland, reports of a tidier version of the same process there:

>>In Amsterdam we just witnessed them dig up the street THREE times in front of [a friend's] house on 3 separate days, and there it works like a dream. The streets and sidewalks are all red bricks, and they just pick out a line of bricks, dig down into the dirt, lay whatever pipe, and then fill it up the hole again and replace the bricks.  It is kept looking beautiful all the time!   Almost no noise.<<

She included pictures from her window today. This is "after," as the work is being wrapped up:

Holland1.png

"Before" shot, and another Amsterdam pic, after the jump.

Holland2.png


And across the canal to similar orderly infrastructure work:
Holland3.png


Japan is the other place where I've seen street repairs carried out with the same "let's keep this as prim and orderly as possible" policy as we're hearing about Holland. In China, as mentioned previously here, it's more the rough-and-ready, "get the job done and worry about being 'prim' later" approach that has let the country do so much so fast.