Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Framing in the Basement and North Lot

I was pleased to see the basement cleaned out today.  I think that indicates the next stage is imminent. 
I noticed some framing on the south side.  It looks too high for a new slab.  
Maybe the wild ladders are going to be fenced. 
I was beside myself with glee to see the crane in motion!
I watched the work in the north lot for quite awhile.  It's now covered with a neat and tidy bed of gravel. 
In the back corner I saw these two men stuffing wood into a box, and then I realized the box was connected to the crane.
Always working in stealth  mode, the crane lifted the box up and away!
I captured this picture from the construction cam so you could see how nice the north lot looks.  But notice that it is being framed, too.
These are the steps they took before pouring the slab in the basement -- pipes, gravel and then frames.  Maybe it's time for a slab here, too.
This view from the south shows that the slab won't be a rectangle.  I watched Baby Front End Loader run up and down the west hill as he raced between the south and north sides of the tabernacle.
This is the first time in weeks I've seen the northeast corner dry.  I believe the green rods are on top of micropiles, and the fact that this spot is finally dry tells me that they are all connected to an underground drainage system.
Here's another view of the northeast corner.  Baby Track Hoe, who you can see on the left, is working in a box supported by the piles which were driven last week.  A knowledgable onlooker predicted that an elevator would be in that spot.  That sounds good to me, as long as that corner stays dry.  Otherwise it will be a mechanical dunking booth.
In a version of mealtimes I've seen far too often, Baby Track Hoe handed dirt to Mama Track Hoe, telling her he didn't want to eat it.  So as to not waste it, Mama Track Hoe put it in reach of  Junior Front End Loader.  Unseen in this picture, he passed it off to Baby Front End Loader.
Since he didn't have a dinner plate under which to hide the dirt, Baby ran it down the hill to the south side and had the men spread it around.  Back and forth he went, and he got away with it, too!
In actuality, there were plenty of trucks on hand to carry the dirt away.  I continue to be impressed by the work these trucks have done at the site.  Just a reminder, last fall the ground level was above the retaining wall in the background.
I think the trucks take ballet lessons at night, because their work is all choreographed during the day.  The truck on the left was just filled by Daddy Track Hoe on the west side.  The two other trucks drove into the south lot and in a graceful one-point-turn, turned around.  As the far truck passed them to exit, they waited patiently.  Once the path was clear, they backed into the west lot for more dirt. 
This part of the east side retaining wall was built while I was at the site this morning.  Notice more green rods being assembled.
The retaining wall along the east and south sides is stretching out in both directions.  There are no I-beams in front of the brick wall on the right side.  Maybe it will get some special treatment.
Notice the white vertical pipes in the ground at intervals along the east wall. 
I was happy to see the drilling machine at work.  I couldn't see that he was drilling mud and I thought that was a good sign.
But when I got closer, I could see why he always drills up mud.  He's making it.
I'm thinking he was designed to drill mud.
When he was finished, he gave himself a little applause.
When I returned along this route a few minutes later, a white pipe was stuck in the hole.  I'm starting to see a pattern.  I'm slow, but I get there.
I am mystified by work in the upper north lot.  Wood and workmen have been making lots of noise there for several weeks.
Today I watched them build a coffin.
I think this is for a Houdini act, because they took great pains to make sure that what they locked in can't get out.
Perhaps it's for one of the wild ladders.
Work on the underground garage entrance progresses.
As I left the site from the post office, I took one last look at the majestic crane.

Friday, April 26, 2013

Aerial Pile Driver and the Northeast Corner

This handy-dandy aerial pile driver was at work over the north lot when I arrived at the site.
This view from the construction cam was what prompted me to go.  I captured it at 10:30 and then decided I need to see for myself what was happening.  I've been watching the northeast corner and was happy it was getting some attention.
My peek-through spot was crowded with interested onlookers who pointed things out as I looked through my camera.  The generator in the center of the photo powered the pile driver.  Notice the two I-beams on the right.  The crane was working to get one in his grips.  Also, notice that the French drain system is progressing.
A front-end loader helped the pile driver grab the I-beam.
It took a few minutes, but soon the I-beam was captured--
and in the air!
I'm not sure how this pile driver works, but for sure it was just as noisy as the other pile drivers on the site, and it worked just as fast.
The workmen in the muddy pit did not stand idly by, either.
This all happened in the space of just a couple minutes.
From the west side, I decided to zoom through the basement piers and take a picture of the new I-beams.  
But when I got home, I could see a whole row of I-beams.  Someone help me -- where did these come from?  My engineer-husband, who would be able to figure this out, is at Chris's graduation, so I can't ask him until later.  
The construction cam is having difficulties as I'm posting this blog.  This close-up was captured from the 11 am photo.  I'm not seeing a long row of I-beams here or anywhere along the north side.  I'll look harder the next time I'm at the site.
Work on the east wall of the south lot is progressing.
I watched a very busy fork lift for a few minutes.  He dodged trucks and workmen like a kid leaving a candy store.
These I-beams are new along the end of the south lot.  Much of this lot has been excavated several feet down.
I watched this pit being dug earlier in the week. The excavated pipe is likely the remnant of a utility conduit.  Many things are a mystery to me, so I asked Provo City if any of the construction plans were available to the public.  They cheerfully gave me the landscaping plans for the temple grounds.  I can see that an entrance to a few parking spaces at the end of the south lot will be at this location.  I'll study the plans and include information that might be useful later.  
Work continues in the basement.  I'm ready for the next step, whatever that is. 
This yellow beam seems to move a little bit each time I see him.  I think he's trying to sneak away.
And barrier walls are being placed along the west entrance to the parking garage.  An Okland contractor invited me to park in the new Nu Skin garage the next time I visited.  I just might! 

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Entrance to Garage Is Underway

From my perch on the Nu Skin garage, I could see the entrance to the underground parking lot being dug from the right of the center of the picture.  An Okland contractor confirmed that's what's happening.  You can see one car in the post office lot on the right.  Usually it's pretty full.  Rumors still abound about the fate of the post office.
A truck driver told me that Nu Skin and the Church are working together on this west lot.  I believe the Church owns the footprint where the former Nu Skin garage stood in the upper right hand side of the photo.  Nu Skin owns the rest.  I believe a large, shared, underground parking garage will be built here, which will continue to the south lot.  See the crane on the left side of this photo?  It is standing on First South.  The new garage entrance is on the right hand side of this picture.  If you are thinking the garage where I'm standing doesn't look finished, you would be correct.  It's in use, and the stairway I'm on is very safe, but thanks for worrying about me.
I took this photo while standing on First West, facing north.  This is how we will enter the underground parking lot.  Someday.
I turned around to take this picture of the truck runway.  This is where the trucks line up to take their turn entering the south lot.
You might have wondered if I ever exaggerate when I talk about the constant stream of trucks entering and exiting.
While I have been known not to let the truth get in the way of a good story, there is no need to exaggerate here.  Often trucks appear in my photos as they come...
and go.
The reason I went to the site today was because the construction cam indicated pipes were being laid in the north lot.  My engineer husband thought it might be a French drain system.
I've actually put in drainage systems in a couple of yards.  I knew there would be holes in the pipes if these were French drains.  And what did my camera find?  Voila!
This explains the gravel I saw on Monday.  There is a black liner involved, too.
On a roll, my camera looked at the green pipes involved in this north lot system and also in the basement.  More French drains!
This cardboard hole with the green rod looks exactly like the micropiles in the basement.  Information from the five articles which came out last week says the engineers are working hard not only to keep the water out of the site, but to keep the pressure from pushing the tabernacle up.  This is one of the purposes of the micropiles.  I know that some of the contractors have come from all over the US to work on this project -- experts in their field. 
This is a view of the northeast lot from the Nu Skin garage.  The green pipe is easy to see there.
This shot came from the construction cam yesterday morning.  After I left the site on Monday, black liner was placed over one of the gravel spots.
Yesterday afternoon the top of the grout wall was trimmed off.  The powder room is standing where the wall used to be.  
I also noticed a dashing new track hoe at the site.
I associate these green rods with the micropiles, so I'm assuming work on that project is continuing at the west end of the basement.
This view from the construction cam today shows a drilling machine in place there, too.
I took a lot of pictures of the basement today.  There are several levels.
I will guess that this is all part of the drainage system.
And it's probably a safe guess.
Here's a glimpse of the pool in the northeast corner, still unresolved.
And here's a good look at the southwest corner.  I think this basement work is called Operation Keep Out Lake Bonneville.
The orange and red rockets are gone from the south and north lots.  This popcorn machine in the west lot is likely supplying the grout for the micropiles. 
It was a beautiful day to walk around the block.  This machine was drilling, not driving piles.
Monday he was drilling up mud.  Today he's just drilling, and he's probably happy about that.
An east barrier wall is topped-off with a white pipe, just like what is along the north lot barrier wall. 
There are two of these culverts on this truck bed.  Mr. Track Hoe eventually lifted them down in the west lot.
This pit along Second South was being dug this morning.
Beautiful day, beautiful site.
And spring in Provo.  It's hard to get better than this!