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Construction Wednesday 8/2 November 3, 2006

Posted by jeanne in construction news, Urban Development.
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Wednesday 6/7 tropical storm chris. they’re digging more pile of dirt in the middle, out back. They’re still putting up forms, we figure they have at least another day for that. Don’t know what the spider is digging up on the far side. it seems to be from one area. They’ve been putting a trench around the back end of the property, starting on cyde st and going down bissey st. they dig it, then a trench within a trench with this little bitty crane and shovel, and filling it with gravel, so aybe there’s pipe in the middle, or it’s just a gravel filled trench. There’s a bulldozer helping him by dumping dirt in front of him. Seems backwards somehow.

A dumptruck i think is backing and forwarding down the street making lots of noise. He turned around and backed up the street to the intersection out front, where they’re still messing around in the hole. It’s been three days they’ve been in that hole, at least. Out front there’s a huge bulldozer with interchangeable arms, and he’s manhandling, really beating up, one of those forms that go down into the hole, moving it from one side of the work to the other, where i suppose it’s more out of the way. They do this all day long. As he moves, the crane and shovel inches back and folds up tight to get out of the way and position himself for his work. Another crane and shovel sits idle at the end of the work area. There’s a pickup, and that dumptruck now waiting patiently. Every little movement is painstaking, takes a long time, like giant toys. I always wondered at the toy construction vehicles we use to play with. They seemed so awkward and clumsy, cartoonlike. But it turns out that was accurate. They’re unweildy and too powerful, and they’re hard to handle.

A rusty container/dump truck backed down the ramp carefully avoiding the blue container and the worktables. The spider just crawled up to the top of the pile he’d just made, and is taking more dirt from where he was getting it before, and moving it over behind him, i guess on the same hill only the front of it. I can’t imagine he’s putting it onto the shaved off part. They guy’s unloading the container. And taking another away with him, a much smaller container shaped like a boat where the new one is a rusty box with no lid.

They’re moving dirt on top of the vibro piers, i wonder if they’re affecting the stability. Loose gravel and dirt can’t be more stable than packed dirt. The bulldozer is dumping gravel where the guys can get to it in the southeast corner. it’s nowhere near the spider, it just looked like it. Ad he’s building up the central mound. now he’s demolishing the hill where he was just digging, spreading the dirt out away from him. Building himself a ramp or a support perhaps? Because now he’s building it back up again.

In the ’20s the property was built up. adjustments of property lines, where people put fences, where anybody had a fence, without survey, people put it more or less where they thought it was. Fence went in in the ’20s. once home deliveries in the back died out, the alley was split. Most of the blocks had alleys in the beginniing, but they were all closed off and the property taken according to pushiness. Gas station was radiator shop, and was where uniform supply place. Moved it in the ’30s to the next block. Same family owned it. Became uniform supply house. Tiny sandwich shop was sandwich shop. then black motorcycle gang hangout in the ’80s. they had a convention here.

They stopped early out in the street. Didn’t see that they were doing much all day. Out in the back there are still guys hanging out in the shade looking like they’re not working, but i don’t see beers in their hands. No equipment is being used. It’s 3:30. probably no rain.

It took a dog walk to figure out what the bulldozer and the drane and shovel have been doing all day. That’s not what the crane was doing on top of the pile, or digging the pile and moving it up the hill, but what we saw was the crane crouched by the side of the trench that’s now going around the third side, filled with gravel. It was tearing out a side spur, one of many, possibly bases for columns. We watched it dump a load of ground, including either vibro gravel or, more likely, original burnt and corroded nasty black shiny rocklike things. The slag seemed to be very close to the surface here, where further to the west and south it lined the stream bed, 15′ down. A mysterious kind of rock was found in a layer all over the site, stratification showing folding and tilting of the original surface. Scientists wonder if it could be linked to the layer of irridium deposited at the time of the dinosaur-killing comet in Cozumel. Maybe this was related to the rock fall after the chesapeake meteor that left glassy tectite, rather molten ejecta. Anyway.

Rain showers in the region like acne on a teenager.

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