Offbeat

Watching An Aerial Time Lapse Video Of Road Paving Is Oddly Satisfying

For some reason it’s racked up over 15 million views…man is the Internet a weird place.

This is not the time or the place to get into it, but I think we can all agree that there are plenty of odd videos on the Internet that people find soothing. Things like the Hydraulic Press Channel tickle our fancy, especially when it gets around to crushing things like spinning turbochargers, suspension systems, and even carbon fiber components. This time around, there is a video that’s been posted showing off just how a road is bituminised (where a road is covered in bitumens, a byproduct of petroleum distillation) for waterproofing.

The small Australian town Shire of Moora, which has 2,000 residents to its name, decided to document the process using a drone to film work done on a 4.9 km (3.06 miles) stretch of road following a $443,000 upgrade in the area. Now, according to Australian news outlet WA Today, the video has gone viral.

I suggested we film the work because a lot of people don't have a perspective about how roads are bituminised,” said Shire of Moora's chief executive Alan Leeson. “We thought it was be a good opportunity to show what we do.” Little did he know the video would be an Internet sensation in less than a month. It went up on the town’s Facebook page on December 13, 2016 and has since racked up 15 million views and helped the community’s Facebook page reach over 62,000 likes for absolutely no apparent reason. We think people like the video so much because it appeals to the perfectionist in us all, the one that loves to watch time lapse videos of a car being built.

In this case, the road is of “chip-seal” construction, which, according to Facebook comments on the video, is not a good long term strategy for building an enduring road. It's still common in the Australian outback because of how inaccessible gravel is and because of the sheer amount of distance that workers must pave in a short amount of time. The result is a mesmerizing areal video of trucks pouring bitumen on sand, covering it, and then sealing the layer. Enjoy at your leisure.

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