This seems the season of roadworks and associated ‘déviations’ at the moment.
I’ve just come back from lunch with friends on the route to Montardier; the main road through the village of Avèze is being rebuilt and the deviation takes you along winding, very narrow back roads. Then there is the main road from le Vigan to Ganges where a whole row of old houses are being demolished, leaving a single narrow way controlled by traffic lights. In the next valley to us, the road between the villages of Aulas and Arphy has been closed for months – work does not seem to have even started on repairing a collapsing bridge.
Here, the road leading up the valley to Salagosse started to subside last year, There was apparently no money left in the appropriate budget. Then the road really collapsed – and another budget takes on responsibility. The work is going to cost a huge amount as they are now having to rebuild foundations starting several terraces down at river level. Much of the work is being done by hand: two builders are painstakingly building huge retaining walls using boulders delivered to them by a bulldozer.
Since the beginning of the year all traffic to Serres and Salagosse has had to use the narrow road on the other side of the valley from my house – and it is now showing signs of falling apart with the heavy traffic of lorries and bulldozers.
Getting to my friends Hans and Margaret is now a tedious drive round the valley, so I can no longer do my morning one kilometre walk to their house. For them life is infinitely more irritating: it is their garden whose gate and steps up are in the middle of the roadworks. Margaret has not been able to plant or care for her flowers and vegetables or just sit enjoying her garden, and nobody knows when it will be finished.