Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Where The Dirt Goes, And Other Answers

Downtown Provo invited representatives from the LDS Church and Jacobsen Construction to speak at a luncheon today.  My engineer-husband's friend Mike invited me as his guest.  (Thanks, Mike!) I had a turkey and cucumber sandwich provided by Gandolfo's and listened to questions and answers in Coleman's art gallery which I'm certain will be a popular venue for receptions when the temple is completed.  Afterward we walked to the site where more questions were answered.  I will sum, in no particular order, much of what I learned and work the rest in later.  First, to me it was interesting to learn about the great effort which went into salvaging the original bricks.  The original width of the walls was five bricks.  Two layers from the interior were removed, not just to preserve them, but to make room for the stabilizing rebar and its overcoat of shotcrete.  Maximizing the space in the interior of the temple was a priority.  Also, historic brick is more easily preserved if it's actually left in place.  New word of the day for me was repoint, which means that all the mortar will get a new surface.  The pioneer builders were not consistent in their finishes of the mortar, and the new mortar exterior will be stronger than the original limestone.
I learned that the City of Provo has purchased all the dirt which is being removed.  It's going to the airport.  The City also acquired boulders from the original foundation, which during its demolition was discovered to be very well built.  Those stones came from American Fork Canyon. 
The foundation is progressing around the basement.  I was able to spy several ladders at work, but I couldn't see much else.  The companies who will work on the interior of the temple have been selected, but not announced.  There will be a grand staircase, 1883-style, and the mill work will be similar to what was in the tabernacle.  Enough of the original woodwork from the tabernacle was salvaged so it can be duplicated.  The open house which will be held before the dedication will likely be one to two months long because the Church has seen such enormous interest in this temple. 
Two big cement pours for the west entrance are scheduled for later this week and a third next week.  An Okland contractor told me Nu Skin's underground garage extends all the way to Second West, which makes it the width of one city block.
Temple patrons will use the entrance but turn right.  Baby Track Hoe worked on that area today.
Only the entrance will be shared by the temple and Nu Skin.  The two underground garages in the west lot will otherwise be separate.  
Several concrete pours have occurred out of view of the construction cam.  You can see the northeast corner has been poured and the north wall was being poured this morning.  This area is a long way from being completely underground, I was told.
One of the rebar trees has been poured, and if you look in the right hand corner of this picture, you can see that the east side of the north lot now has a concrete wall.
The excavation work proceeds at a rapid pace.  I measure that by how many trucks enter and leave the south lot.  Did you ever play with Mexican jumping beans as a child?  That's me at the south entrance.
I believe the level on the left is the lowest depth of excavation.
Mr. Dashing Track Hoe gingerly worked in the west lot covering drainage pipes with gravel.  The exterior foundation wall of the west porch next to the west lot was poured yesterday.  This west porch, on the far right beneath the wide flange columns, will lead to the mechanical tunnel, which can't quite be seen in the top of this picture.  The wide flange columns will ultimately be trimmed off.  They were originally put in place to strengthen this cutoff wall since the engineers knew it wouldn't be covered with dirt on both sides.  I have been wondering about that for months and was so happy to have someone patiently explain that to me.  Short sentences, small words, but I finally got it.
The tunnel floor is now covered with the membrane layer, which will protect it from groundwater.  There were a lot of questions and answers about this today.  The temple has been protected from water by the slurry curtains, or cutoff walls.  Once the foundation walls are completed, the technique used will not require pumps, although they will be part of a back up system.  The underground aquifer will flow beneath the temple, leaving it dry.  It was interesting to learn that if a temple had been started from scratch in this location, much of the work we have seen would have still been necessary.  I hope I got answers to the questions you've been wondering about.


David said...

Wonderful news. Thanks for this information, Julie. Is the airport under construction and needing dirt? I'm out of the Provo loop, as you can tell. :)

Julie Markham said...

I am not aware that the airport is under construction. My husband says it's low, though. On my to-do list is to learn about this. Our current mayor has worked hard to strengthen that facet of our infrastructure.

Unknown said...

I am soooooo glad that you are doing this blog. I am just fascinated by the construction of it, it's truly amazing what they are doing. I have a few more questions. In the webcam picture it barely shows something that is dug out that looks like a triangle, but I'm sure it isn't,I can't see all of it (it's kind of at the left of center at the bottom)any ideas on what that is? Also, where that sunken square is, they put up what looks like a wooden fence around it...any idea why? Also, why hasn't any forms been put on the bottom of the staircases? (Im guessing that they were staircases in the tabernacle). Will the cement that is strengthening the inside walls of the Temple be taken off once the Temple is resting on the foundation? I'm sorry for so many questions,but you're the only one that I know of that could answer them. Thank you again, for doing this blog.

Julie Markham said...

Scroll back through the pictures in this particular post and you can see the triangle shape surrounded by a wooden fence that you asked about. It's part of the blue trench shield get-up, holding dirt walls back while they dig. I believe this trench shield is temporary. There are several different pictures of this on various posts from various angles. It will be part of the mechanical tunnel, which will be accessed from what I call the west porch. As for staircases, I believe that any stairs you can see in the webcam are for the construction crews. They will disappear as progress continues. I am certain that the concrete on the inside shell of the tabernacle is permanent. If you go back to the blog post for October 25th, 2012, you can see the rebar inside the tabernacle shell. The shotcrete was sprayed around the rebar and is literally holding the shell together.