So, you’re driving down the street, same as usual every day. However, you hear road work further down the street. After having the obligatory internal groan at how this is going to back up the traffic, you see that they’re working on the area around the manhole. There’s a strange box around the manhole. This, fittingly, is called a manhole box. Maybe you’ve seen one of these before, maybe you haven’t. If you’ve never seen a manhole box in Santa Cruz CA before, and are curious as to their purpose, read on for the answer.
If road workers are working on the parts of the road immediately surrounding the manhole, thus requiring the manhole box, then they will have to leave said manhole open. Now, this normally poses a problem because now any random schmuck who isn’t watching where they’re going may accidentally fall into the manhole that one moment where the road workers aren’t looking. However, manhole boxes provide that extra bit of warning to any and all passersby that there is something in this area that they should not come near. It’s instantly recognizable as something you should go around.
The road built around the pipe that we know as the manhole is meant to hold it in place. The less road that’s there, the less stabilized the manhole is. If the workers are doing heavy duty roadwork, then the manhole box is there to keep the manhole secured into place. This makes sure that the pipe doesn’t potentially tip over, bend, or even break in any way. This added stabilization ensures that the road workers will be able to perform their jobs in confidence, knowing that the manhole is nice and secure.
Replacing manholes are much harder and more expensive than most forms of roadwork, so it behooves road workers not to damage the manhole in any serious way. However, work sites are dangerous places, where any number of things can go terribly wrong. However, having a protective box around the exposed parts of the pipe prevents any serious damage from occurring to the manhole itself. This cuts down tremendously on the hassle and extra work the road workers might’ve had to face if the box wasn’t there.
Manhole boxes are a rare occurrence of road work, since the chances of having to perform road work specifically on the area around a manhole that isn’t work on the manhole itself is a very rare occurrence. However, they are a very reliable tool when needed, simple in design, but practical in its function.