• 2024.03.25
  • Roadworks At Night?!
Without warning, workers started making a lot of loud machinery noise, like guhguhguhguhguhguh and duhduhduhduhduh in my neighborhood each night from 10:00 from the middle of January. I’m feeling a bit sleep-deprived because every day it’s “It hasn’t started again has it??” and I’m feeling low. This is actually part of major road repair works in São Paulo that started in June 2022 and will lay 20 million square meters of asphalt.
When I walk the area around my home there are these big roadwork machines parked on the roadside.
I think these big machines are called road planers and from the look of them, they are very powerful and can make a lot of noise.

Usually workers just fill in the holes or parts where the asphalt road has been damaged so the roads end up like patchwork. But the works at the moment involve planing off the old asphalt and replacing it all with new.

As well as that, there is a 40-cm wide strip of concrete between the pavement and the roadway, and they are breaking up that old concrete and replacing it with new. These big trucks, rock breakers, rollers, concrete mixers, and the rest all line up.
If they do roadworks with these big machines during the daytime in cities like São Paulo where the number of cars has increased, it instantly winds up causing traffic jams, and that’s why they do the work at night. But, the loud noise keeps me awake.

When you look at the parts where they have planed off the asphalt, you can see cobblestones, which reminds me that the street I lived in when I was a child was a cobblestone street. I did a bit of research and found that they first paved a road with asphalt in São Paulo in 1909. Today, that road is Paulista Avenue, the first public roadway ever paved with asphalt not only in Brazil, but the whole of Latin America.

I discovered from information provided to the citizens of São Paulo that various technical work was carried out at the stage prior to starting the current road repaving works.
First of all, they fitted devices to 108 taxis and UBER cars that operate around town and assessed the condition of all the asphalt-paved roads using the Gaia system. This system was created in 2019 and digitizes road conditions. There are 17,000 km of road in São Paulo, and they have now been able to assess the condition of the asphalt on all the roads.
A scanner called PavScan produced detailed pictures of the condition of the asphalt roads, how much damage they had sustained, and so on. It can also check how much of the old asphalt has to be planed. That makes it possible to avoid unnecessary work and to reduce costs.
These works have created 3,000 new jobs. And the asphalt itself is a stone matrix asphalt (SMA), which contains polymers and fibers, so it can be expected to last a long time.

The night works are so noisy I can’t sleep, but when I think of how smooth the asphalt roads will be around town, I feel I have to put up with it, and I look forward to being able to travel by car in comfort along those nice roads.


  • Nami Minaki Sandra
  • JobLanguage teacher,shadow box crafter

Born and raised in Brazil. After graduating from university, She has been teaching shadow box crafts that she learned while in Singapore where she resided for three years due to her husband’s work and she is also a language teacher. She is in love with the life here in São Paulo where cultures and traditions of various countries melt together.

View a list of Nami Minaki Sandra's

What's New


What's New