The Council of Greater Bendigo has proudly unveiled the city’s latest tourist attraction: a memorial pothole walk on Howard Street, Epsom. The council hopes that tourists and locals alike will stroll on the historic gravel shoulder of the road and discover a series of classic potholes, each with an interpretive plaque and viewing platform.
“We came to realise after the near flooding last year that instead of looking at the condition of the road as terrible and realise it tells a story,” said Hamish Mortarboard, Historical Director for Roads at the COGC. He stands on the newly-installed viewing platform, made from salvaged scaffolding from under the new bridge and balanced on a pair of stolen milk crates.
“This one was opened, patched and reopened on the same day. That’s something really unique!”
The walk doesn’t just cover potholes. There are a series of dips, deformations and even one case of significant slippage cracking. All up, there are 28 stops on the walk, extending from Epsom Primary to at least as far as the sewage treatment plant. It probably goes further, but nobody has yet bothered to check.
“What do you mean, walk?” Asked local resident Travis McGoon. “I’m only on me way through coz the deep one over there busted my suspension!”
Mr Mortarboard was soon seen adding the incident to the relevant plaque.
“History is a living thing,” he said as he put away his sharpie, “It’s all around us. Also, some of these potholes have been here so long that they’re a part of our history just by time served.”
“Sure, some fancy civil engineering types may suggest that we fix up the area and the road, but they deny the stories that this place can tell. And besides, it’s much cheaper to do this than to actually fix anything. This project came in both under time and at least $12.50 under budget.”