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Construction Week 3 Monday 6/5 July 5, 2006

Posted by jeanne in construction news, Urban Development.
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The dump is closed again today. It rained yesterday; evidently the trucks carry too much mud onto the highway which is against regulations, so after a rain the dumps close to dump traffic. Bunches of trucks lines the street at 7, the equipment started up at 7:30. We lay in bed and enjoyed the silence.

arborist called this morning to say he’d gotten my message about this afternoon and will be here at 1. He said nobody else contacted him about the meeting, like they said they would. I sent my guy around to talk to foreman, who said his guys contacted whoever, and were going to contact that nice gay guy to arrange it, as a liason. So he went around to guy and told him about it. He hasn’t been able to get hold of developer, however.

At 1 we noticed arborist’s truck, so went over there thru the back yard. He was looking at the plans. He was surprised that the silt fence went between my trees, that there was a silt fence on my property. Foreman explained that there was a 22′ easement into our yards that they were paying for with the stupid garage bribes, which i later asked him about and he says it’s just not done in the industry. Hush money. The arborist kept asking questions about other trees, and foreman kept saying ‘it’s my understanding that you’re here about these people’s trees,’ and drawing him back to it. We just want to make sure everybody’s happy. He told me later that the people doing this have lots of money and they just want things to go smoothly so whatever. The arborist wants to see the plan for what they’re going to do in everybody’s backyard and determine how it’s going to affect our trees, and gave out cards to call him when there was a plan and before any work was done on the back. He kept looking at us as he told foreman what steps he needed to take, including another stamp on the plans. I got photos of the plans, the elevation. Our yards 176×52′.

After he left that nice gay guy came up, my guy went and got him, and i told foreman i wasn’t trying to cause him any trouble. The nice gay guy seemed rather put out that we don’t want any raising of our property. Evidently he wants a substantial increase, so that when my guy made a joke about wanting to step out the second flloor onto backyard dirt he agreed. His idea was that it looked like not everybody was going to cooperate on having a draining back and so therefore it was everyone for themselves and he was going to do what was right for him. He may blame us for wanting to save our trees by not raising our land. Are we going to have 4 different levels?  I suggested ditches like the dutch. A gravel ditch down the back under the wall. A drain to under the alley from our part, that way everyone’s runoff could collect at the bottom of our yard as long as there was a way to take it off.

The guys kept busy with the crane and shovel and the bulldozer. They built and rocked a ramp so the trucks can back in and be loaded under the level of the treads.

The crane looks like a spider on treads, the spider body is flattened and squashed. It’s obvious that engineers think in two dimensions – everything’s flat.

The guy digs and pours all day. The drivers spend at most three minutes sitting under the tractor, and who knows how long waiting in line, and then they’re gone to the dump where they probably wait in line again. But never time enough to get other things done. Trying to read a book would prove very frustrating.

There’s another meeting on our front porch at 5. more tea.

They seemed to think they would go ahead with the alley and then think about drainage. The lefthand neighbor won’t need much done, and has too many trees to change the grade much. No grade change for us, maybe 2-3″. Everybody else wants a backyard full of dirt. My guy remarked that the farther they are from the original project, the mroe they want done – more trees down, more dirt,. They suggested a swale to channel runnoff to the egde of the property where there’s going to be a catchment basin. But nobody liked the sound of ditch. I suggested again that they channel all the runnoff to our backyard and install a drain here. Or at most, the family next door’s where they won’t disturb the tree roots.

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