Driving a digger back and forth, filling an entire valley with rubble to carry the runway for St Helena’s airport, may not seem the most artistic of jobs.
But you can’t keep the St Helenian creative spirit down, it seems.
Two open days at the airport site have been held on successive weekends in November 2013 to mark a major milestone in the project: reaching the half-way mark in filling Dry Gut.
That means roughly 3,889,623 cubic metres of rock – or 247,466 truckloads.
On the first open day, the figure “50%” was inscribed into the surface of the fill with a 20-tonne roller.
But for workers on such an ambitious project, that clearly wasn’t enough. As Saint FM reported on 24 November 2013:
“The Dry Gut crew wanted something different and more dramatic, and so with a piece of imagination, settled on moulding the shape of a passenger jet out of the rubble – no mean feat in the short time available, what with getting the dimensions into perspective.”
The challenge is to come up with something even more ambitious for September 2014, when the last truckload of rubble is due to be tipped into place in the gut.
In the meantime, work on the airport terminal buildings has now begun, as witnessed by visitors to the opens days; and consultation has ended on plans for a new permanent wharf at Rupert’s Bay.
St Helena Online does not have a picture of the rubble aeroplane, but is happy to share Barbara George’s image of the 50% sign, at the top of this story.
Click on any thumbnail below to see Barbara’s open day pictures.