Wednesday, July 31, 2013

The Fourth Tower Cap Will Make It!

I was thrilled to see progress on the southwest tower cap.  This can only be a good sign.
The construction cam showed a crane at the site, and I was hoping it was a foundation pour.
Instead, the west lot was getting some concrete.  A nice bridge has been built over the access to the mechanical tunnel.  Now that the lowest level of the foundation walls has been covered, the working area is more accessible than it ever has been.
This is a view from the cam of that area.  The three slumps on the right are part of a system to collect oil from the parking garage so it doesn't end up in Provo's storm drains.
The final lift of the east side was poured on Monday.  I was impressed today to notice that the foundation follows the vertical ridges of the tabernacle itself.
My camera peered into the basement through the gap under the northeast tower.  
This is the corresponding gap under the southeast tower.  Notice the workman finishing the forms for the final lift on the south side.
The bridge from the south porch into the stairwell is part of the south entrance to the basement.
The south side was a beehive of activity.
Pretty soon the south foundation will receive its final lift. 
The south lot is just as busy as ever, with friendly dump truck drivers coming, going and waving.
As I walked back to my car, I took this photo of Nu Skin's megalith on Second West, which will be an elevator tower when completed.

Monday, July 29, 2013

Progress In Every Direction

At the top of my to-do list today was to check the progress on the east side.  I suspected it was close to receiving the final lift pour.  Jacobsen's crew was working hard here.
My camera zoomed in to see the sealant between the forms and the building.  Notice the space around the I-beams at the top of the piers so they can be removed.
We have all noticed that the support for the east towers is different than for the west towers.  I have been told that the support for these two towers will be cantilevered and that the piers will be cut away.  If you look closely in the center of this photo, above the red tape around the post, you can see a gasket where the concrete will be poured under pressure.
A gasket can be seen in this photo, also in the center.  You can also see wires protecting the men from a fall.  Notice the knee pads, steel-toed boots and 60 pound tool belts.  The good news was that this afternoon the east side was in the shade.
Of course, as soon as I got home, the construction cam showed that the concrete pump had arrived and is pouring on the east side.  This is great news!
The east side, on the left, will soon join the north side in having a complete foundation.
Mr. Drill Rig has been busy placing micropiles.  They are all over the north lot between the cement slab for the annex and the tabernacle, including right next to the building, but a line of them can easily be seen on the right.  By the way, this machine is operated by remote control -- there is no cab for a driver.  Also, notice the men in the background placing the waterproof membrane on another section of the west slab.
Form work on the west and south sides progresses.  If you haven't noticed before, now would be a good time to see the difference between the tower foundations on this side versus the east side.
I was delighted to see that the wide-flange vertical columns were cut away this morning.  Concrete fill has been added daily to reach the current ground level.
The fill makes for a nice working area and is now on all sides.  If you look closely on the right side of this foundation, you can see the entrance from the north lot into the basement.  It's between the piers under the southeast tower, but you are actually seeing through the building in the light of the west sun. 
Perhaps a close-up is necessary.
The clean space about four feet above the concrete fill is where the lower slab of the underground parking lot will meet the tabernacle.  The area on the left will be a stairwell from the lowest level of the basement, which is now out of our view. 
I hope Mr. Track Hoe knows what he's doing.  He has stranded himself while playing King of the Hill.  As the south lot deepens, the red machine on the right drills tie-backs into the barrier wall.
Surgery continues on the southwest tower cap. 
I'm encouraged.  I think he's going to make it!

Friday, July 26, 2013

Ready, Aim...

I know it's hot, and sometimes the workmen must get frustrated, but I was a little alarmed to see them aiming at the tabernacle.  
But then I realized it was our old friend, Mr. Drill Rig, back for a visit.
He drilled this micropile while I walked around the block.  These must be tension piles, to hold the ground down so what's left of Lake Bonneville can't push it up.
Both cranes were working today at the site.
These workmen in the west lot were hand-pouring cement delivered by the black crane.
The white crane was assisting Mr. Drill Rig.
More fill was poured early this morning on the west side.
The form crew is working very hard to prepare the east side for its final lift pour.
Their supervisor seemed pleased with the work.
It looks like the rest of the north side and the east side are about ready for their final pours.  I can't wait. 
The spaces these men are cleaning up are where the slab for the underground parking will meet the building. 
I learned today that the fill on the left is from a nearby street project.  If I understood correctly, this fill will be used when the ramp for the south entrance is moved again to accommodate the continuing excavation.  This is like musical chairs, except with dirt.
I was relieved to see men still operating on the southwest tower cap.
I'm encouraged that the patient will survive.

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Pioneer Day at the Tabernacle

Pigeons had already claimed the best viewing spots for the 5K Run when I arrived.
The morning was overcast -- perfect for runners.
While waiting for everyone to arrive, I walked around the site. My heart sank when I saw the southwest tower.
Perhaps it looks a little better from this side.
This is the other tower at the work station.  It seems to be doing OK.
These two towers on the northeast part of the upper lot have been repaired and are waiting for shingles.  I don't know how long the wait will be.
I was anxious to see the tabernacle resting on a firm foundation, and I could see it today now that the forms have been removed.  Just this portion of the building has received the final lift pour.
It's easy to see how the concrete was poured around the I-beams so they can be pulled out.
I caught this glimpse into the basement from the northeast.
This peek came from the southeast.  Once the piers are cut away, another slab will be poured.  That's why there are still lotus plants down there.
My camera zoomed in through the lower level south entrance and caught this view to the east.  At a future time, the baptismal font will be in this area.
Because of the Pioneer Day holiday, only the ladders were at work.
A concrete pump was at the site most of yesterday.  More fill was poured on the north side, making a nice working area.
Fill was poured on the west side, between the two porches where the splatter is on the black membrane.
A third slab was poured on the west side, north of the crane.
The moat on the south side is gone.
The tabernacle used to be 40 feet in the air.  With the new fill, it's been reduced to 20 feet.
I used to number things I said frequently to my children, saying the number instead of the oft-repeated phrase.  I'm thinking it's about time I numbered, "The south lot is still being excavated."
Perhaps in the last few months you've become accustomed to the piers, but I'm ready for them to go.  
Soon, I've been told.  Soon. 
I spent some time at the courthouse.  The first of 5000 runners crossed the finish line in under 14 minutes.
There were heroes in this race.
Lots of heroes.
Watching other people run is inspiring.
Racers of all kinds reached the finish line.
Some were barefoot, but most were not.
Not all were human.
There were a lot of scooters.
And many adorable babies! 
My favorites were the pioneers, of course.