Wednesday 31 March 2021

Podium Works Planning - again

We've been here before.  The City seems to be preparing for another capital expenditure project (or set of projects) on the highwalks.  

The last set of projects gave us the highwalk resurfacing and plantings around Beech Gardens.  While the results are good in some ways, the highwalk still floods, has puddles that don't drain away and new tiles which are are already disfigured by leeching limescale.

The underlying problem is that the drains are not working properly.  Draining is slow in many places and some drains are completely blocked (water clears by evaporation).  This has been the case since ... well, for a very long time.

Maintenance is the boring stuff (no sexy promotion-enhancing capital budget for your aspiring bureaucrat).  The danger for this new round of works is that the City moves to the sexy capital expenditure before resolving the basic underlying and critical maintenance issues.

In short, the City should fix the drains before proceeding with any other works.

The message from the City below talks first about about waterproofing (a juicy capital project) before drainage (boring old maintenance).  The result of an area being waterproofed but having no drainage is (approximately) a swimming pool!  This is precisely the mistake the City made with Beech Gardens ... the focus was on the technology of the waterproofing membrane and the tiles (yum, capital!) and the result is the flooding / puddles / leeching we see today.

Actually, the drains are currently in such a poor state that they may need a capital expenditure to get them fixed so perhaps by letting them get so bad the bureaucrats may have created a nice project for themselves.  Perhaps there is hope.  Of course once fixed the drains would still need to maintained ... oh, dear.

Dear reader, you can help!   If asked for feedback on these projects please say "first, fix the drains".  Thank you.

From the BEO:

Barbican Podium Project: Upcoming Survey Works

Proposals are currently being considered for waterproofing, drainage and associated landscaping work relating to sections of the podium above Beech Street.

You may notice that survey work is being undertaken over the next few weeks.

Once initial proposals for the podium have been established, the project team will be introducing themselves to stakeholders and residents. This will provide you with an opportunity to understand the extent of the works required and the anticipated delivery programme.

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