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September, 2004 - Digger.  An interesting road story in a housing development in Pattaya, Thailand.

This is one of those funny (but not at the time) stories!  The lot for this house is in a small development which will eventually have 10 houses.  There will be 5 houses on either side of an entry road which comes off the road in front.  When buying the plot, during the dry season, the entry road looked sturdy enough.  Only later did I find out that the road was made of the wrong type of dirt, sticky mud, and watched as it got progressively worse during the rainy season.  Not being my job to get it fixed I just waited (and complained a little bit to which I was told patience!), and finally the primary developer had all of the mud taken out and replaced with hard pack.  One other developer isn't happy because the road is actually above his property line - which brings me to one very important point.  One of the worst mistakes anyone can ever make is to build a house 'too low'.  It is one thing that cannot be later corrected.

To the left of my truck is the building plot.  My truck is on the dirt entry road.  Looks good enough here doesn't it.  (01-Jan-04)

I wanted to contrast the previous road to what everyone would really like to see.  This land is subdivided and a concrete entry road has been poured to a 20 centimeter depth.  There is also associated drainage and the electric is already setup, all prior to any building started.  Now, the downside.  This land, which is in the same area as the cool thai house plot, is 2 1/2 times more expensive, and the minimum lot size is 1 rai (at 2.5 million Baht)!  So, you can find perfection but you must pay the price! (29-Jul-04)
The entry road has been getting bad for quite some time now until it is like this!  Passing is now impossible except with a 4 wheel drive.  (22-May-04)
Another shot of the entry road.  It was made with the wrong kind of dirt and is now a muddy mess.  The cool thai house is the last one on the left.
Here I'm just wondering how much worse can the road actually get before someone does something.  (31-May-04)
A while later, the first attempt at fixing the road, which unfortunately just made it worse.  (06-Jun-04)
Finally, the road is what I would call fixed!  One cardinal lesson for all who build houses is never skimp on fill dirt, one thing which can't be fixed is a house below street level.  Note the level of the house on the left is about 60 cm. or more below street level.  (12-Jun-04)
A current shot of the fixed road with the cool thai house at the end on the left.  The dirt used is a dirt and small stone mix which is used mainly for roads.  It gets real hard and will not turn to mud when water sits on it.  One last thing which needs to eventually done with the road is to shape it as rounded, which can't be done as long as the aluminum fence is run along the far right side of the road. (18-Jun-04)
This is the street shot looking from the cool thai house towards the main entry road.  Only thing really to note here is the real ugly aluminum fence on the left which is actually in the main road and prevents the road from being properly shaped. 
Another shot of the tragic 'too low' house.  This is the entry after 10 minutes of rain, it is a lake.  The developer wants to lower the entire road which would just make everyone have a problem, will be interesting to see how it 'washes out'.  Will keep updates posted here.

And the story just keeps getting better!  (16-Aug-04)

The 'too low house man' hired a tractor today to bring the road down.  In sorting out his problem he may well be on the way to creating problems for all of the other inhabitants.  (01-Jan-04)

All the finished houses on the right side of the road now have a problem.  No only was the road taken down after the houses were built, but slope of the road does not now allow the water to run. (06-26-04)
The front of the second house from the front after the road massacre. 
As a temporary fix, I'm having road stone put down.  (20-Aug-04)
Here is the tractor laying out the stone.  This is great material, even when wet it maintains its shape.
Had the end of the road blocked off with old coconut stumps.  (24-Aug-04)
The shape of the road is now really bad, as it is U shaped.  The water cannot run off, but puddles in some spots in and around the middle of the road.

Update: 02-Sep-04

The road stones are very effective in the rain.  Although certain areas do puddle, due to the now incorrect shape of the road, when the puddles get large enough the water is forced out and does flow off the road into the jungle area behind the housing complex.  So, are far as the road goes -- not perfect, but OK.  One of the builders is still battling a problem with the level of the house, even after the road was brought down the problem remains. 

Here is the road on a rainy day.  Even though the water puddles a bit it is no problem on the areas covered with road stone, since these stones act almost as good as a paved road.  The puddles don't get much bigger than this and then the water runs off.  (02-Sep-04)
Here is a puddle further up the road.
Some areas along the road flood out easier than others.  Here is the same house as before with the same problem.
Inside view of the yard of the 'too low' house, after rain.
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