Tuesday, January 22, 2013

I Lost My Husband at the Construction Site

I made a quick trip to the construction site this morning to see if the preparations I saw yesterday were amounting to anything.
A new machine was in place, and it was big and noisy.  I took a few pictures and then drove back to my house.  My engineer husband works from home, so I showed him this picture and asked him what he thought the machine was doing.  He googled Dewind and watched a couple movies on their site.  He suggested we go back together.  So, after lunch, we put on our heaviest coats, got our gloves, and I grabbed the camera.
My husband was in heaven.  He's been to the site before, but it's not always this busy.  He explained a few things.  The machine which was dragged into place yesterday, on the right side, is a pump.  
A chemical of some kind is being dropped into the hopper on the pump and mixed with water.
The good thing about engineers is they have to figure everything out.  The pump is fed water from a line that came from this offsite fire hydrant.  I know that because we hunted it down.
The trencher worked today on the north side.  The line running to it comes all the way from the pump.  It feeds into the grey hopper.
The track hoe dropped frequent packages of some kind of cement into this hopper.  He put the entire bag in, and the grinder in the bottom of the hopper chopped the bag open so the stuff could fall in.
The trencher was powerful.  When it worked, it shook the parking garage where we were standing.
My husband watched for a long time.  He believes a very deep trench down is being dug by this machine, and then it is filled with a slurry.  After some internet searching, he believes the chemical being added is Bentonite clay to make the new underground wall watertight. 
The trencher had some problems today, and part of the time we were there we saw a few repairs.  But when it was working, it moved about a foot a minute.  It was exciting to watch!
A couple times the trencher got stuck, so the track hoe nudged it.  Seriously.
Think of a mother elephant and her baby.
We also watched the workmen deal with problems with the line.  You can see what happened here -- the line froze.  Not the only line that has frozen in Provo lately!  They grabbed a propane torch and thawed it.
Here's the trencher getting another nudge from the track hoe.  The machines in the background zoomed in and out and all around, constantly.
The trench goes from just west of the tabernacle and was approaching the east side while we watched.   This type of trench is called a grout curtain or a slurry wall.
The trencher wasn't the only machine working today -- not by any means!  This old favorite of mine was digging up a parking lot near the former First South.
You might have noticed that the northeast and southwest corners have been excavated deeper than the other two corners.  Provo's local paper, The Daily Herald, ran a short article on the stilts.
The piers are cleaned, as I mentioned yesterday, and then additional supports are being welded in place.
It appears that these supports will be part of the framework for a new foundation.
I took this picture this morning.  Likely this type of work will be completed all around the foundation, but the other two corners won't be completely excavated until these two are strengthened.  I learned that the idea is to "Not give away any support."  There might be a Sacrament Meeting talk in this concept.
A stairway has been built from the excavated portion of the north lot up to the ground level near Center Street.
There was so much to see today at the site!  My good husband didn't want to leave, even after two hours, even though my toes were frozen, and even though I had to go to Relief Society tonight.

1 comment:

cundupa said...

Just looking back at older blogs. The excavator was not pushing the trencher, he was pulling spoils away from the trench or adjusting the drag box. No need to publish this just informing. I worked with DeWind on that job and appreciate your updates.