Paving the Church Street with river stone, Viscri

“We can say that almost all the projects implemented during the 20 years of activity in the field of community development would have been logical to be implemented by the local authorities. The Foundation wants to support local authorities with projects for which they fail to attract funding, but, of course, these projects must not run against our philosophy and principles.

The first community development project was implemented in Viscri, where we managed to pave Church Street with river stone “like clockwork”.

What does it mean to implement a project “like clockwork” for the MET team?

  1. There was a NEED for this road to be rehabilitated because of the stream and several springs which made this road almost impassable for carts or other means of transport, especially after it had rained. I remember slipping several times on the clay soil on my way to kindergarten or school. To facilitate access to the courtyard, the Saxons used to pave their sidewalks with river stone. After it rained, the sidewalks needed to be cleaned of mud, weeds and grass when necessary.
  2. There is a good COLLABORATION with the local authorities that hand over the land / road in temporary concession to the Mihai Eminescu Trust foundation.
  3. There were PEOPLE who wanted to get involved in carrying out this community project in good conditions.
  4. There was KNOWLEDGE of traditional work techniques. We met with older people from the community who explained to us how to place the river stone in a bed of loamy sand after the foundation of the road had been strengthened.

You might be interested in how you can create a river stone pavement?

-the stone is collected from the river or from the outer surface layer of the terrain. Commercially, in the quarry, this type of stone is called “sieve refusal stone”. What does that mean? Simply that the stones don’t have the same shapes.

-after acquiring the stones craftsmen who are familiar with the technique or people eager to learn this trade are needed. The essential thing to learn is that the river stone must be inserted with its sharp/conical side in the loamy sand bed.

-it is also important to follow a few simple rules, for example: the pavement must be given a 5% slope near the drain.

-the stones must be placed very close to one another so that they cannot move if a heavy goods vehicle passes through the village. Also, they have to remain fixed in the event of a torrential downpour that might wash the clay between the stones.

-the smaller stones are placed in the middle of the road, while the larger ones at the edge, especially in the parts where the road ends. We do this to avoid the destruction of the road by heavy vehicles.

  • MET successfully manages to attract PARTNERS/FINANCIAL SUPPORTERS that cover the expenses necessary to implement these types of projects.
  • THE MEMBERS OF THE COMMUNITY together with the MET team managed to find ways to ensure the SUSTAINABILITY of the project. For us the SUSTAINABILITY of our projects is at the forefront, but we must be honest and recognize that it is a difficult thing to achieve and the one thing that consumes most of our time.

We are proud to say that after an eighteen-year period of using this road, during which the road has been transited by villagers with carts or on foot, by visitors, by tractors with loaded trailers full of hay, by heavy trucks filled with construction materials, that the river stone pavement still looks adequate with the exception of a section where the street meets the Main Road. In this area we haven’t managed to fully collect a spring which represents a problem especially in winter when ice forms on the surface of the pavement.

We hope that soon, the community of Viscri together with the Town Hall of Bunești commune- in whose administration the roads inside the village reside- will find a solution to solve this problem.

To end on a positive note, we acknowledge that the Town Hall of Bunesti commune carried out in 2008 a project for paving the New Street in Viscri. Members of community in Viscri hope that soon funds will also be raised for the paving of the Main Road. The MET Foundation has also implemented river stone paving projects in the villages of Florești, Alma Vii and Mălâncrav.”

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