Say you’re in the Greater Daglan Area and you’re driving from Gourdon to the Big D itself (that’s Daglan, silly).
First you’ll follow the D673 away from Gourdon, and then you’ll turn right at Pont Carral. From there you’ll follow the D46 towards Saint Martial-de-Nabirat. But as you near Florimont-Gaumier, you’ll notice a sign suggesting that you turn left onto the D52, for Bouzic and then Daglan.
All of that is fine, but lately you’ll also find yourself dodging a large number of bulldozers — not to mention heavy trucks, tractors, diggers and rollers. We’re in the midst of a multi-month, 2-million-€ construction project whose long-term aim is to smooth out and widen the road a bit, and (apparently) round off some of the corners. Here’s the sign announcing the project:
My wife and I travel this road several times a week, driving to and from the spa where we take exercise classes in the pool. And the amount of digging and hauling and tree-cutting has been frankly phenomenal. In this long stretch, for example, the road was moved just a few feet, but much of a hill was excavated and carried away:
At various stages along the way, temporary traffic lights are installed so that just one lane of traffic can move at a time, allowing the diggers and bulldozers to do their thing. Here’s one of the lights, as of this morning:
Once we got the flashing yellow light, telling us that we could continue, here’s some of what we encountered this morning. First, this huge truck, heading for us on crushed gravel:
Then we came upon the area where the left-hand turn to Daglan normally takes place. Clearly, what’s being developed there is a new roundabout (giratoire, in French) that will allow drivers to choose to bear right and continue on to Saint-Martial-de-Nabirat, or to exit the circle a bit later and head for Daglan. (Side note: I love giratoires; find them wonderfully efficient; and I’m sorry they never really caught on in North America.) But creating this roundabout is taking a great deal of earth-moving, like this:
And here we are at the roundabout-to-be, which this morning was clearly the centre of action on this entire roadworks project:
As you can imagine, my wife and I are a bit tired of the whole project — for months we’ve been driving over rough gravel, stopping for equipment, and washing the car regularly because it’s covered in dust. But it looks like the end result will be a much more pleasant drive to and from the spa. One of these days.