Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Foundation Work Before Our Eyes

I solved a mystery at the tabernacle site today. 
I became very preoccupied yesterday with these pools on the north lot, so I returned today.  I watched for a long time and I think I know what is going on.  Notice the red drilling machine working on the northeast side.  See the small trench of water?  It isn't flowing from the pools to the drilling machine -- it's flowing from the machine to the pools.  
I noticed that the north retaining wall has grout smeared along the lower edge.
I did my best to hang my camera over the edge of the construction fence to get a close-up.   The drilling machine is creating a grout wall next to the retaining wall.  Based on what I saw yesterday with the bigger drill, that slurry curtain goes down at least ten feet.
I moved to the west side and watched the machine head for the northwest corner.  You might notice there is no driver in the cab.  There's no cab, either.  This machine is operated by remote control.  The man in the red hard hat is operating the remote.  What a job!
As soon as those guys left the area, the little front-end loader covered the trench to the pools.  The pools are not water, but grout runoff.
This is a close-up of the business end of the machine.
The machine parked himself in the northwest corner and began drilling.  His support is coming from the red and white silo and the accompanying pods.  Notice all the hoses.  I'm embarrassed to say that I had to watch for quite awhile before I figured out what was going on.  But it was 30 degrees warmer than yesterday.  My coat was in the car-- no need to worry.
This track hoe is digging a new trench from the machine to the holding pools for the grout runoff.
He danced around his trench without collapsing it and kept the slurry moving along the retaining wall.  Based on what I can see from the architectural drawings, the entire north lot will eventually be part of the basement level of the new temple.  The grout wall will keep the basement dry.
The basement will be two levels directly underneath the temple, but one level everywhere else.
Mr. Track Hoe decided there was no real need for a ramp to the basement, so he removed it today.
I'm a little worried that baby track hoe can't go home for dinner tonight.
Maybe he's having a timeout in his playpen.

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