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Construction Wednesday 1/3 October 18, 2007

Posted by jeanne in construction news, Urban Development.

steel ribs on the outside of the buildingednesday 6/7

they replaced the steel protection line round the columns with wooden fences, first the supports and then the rails, it’s a 3-rail wooden fence from column to column. the crane was busy before dawn this morning. by the time we took our dog walk they had most of the red iron up. that’s the stuff that covers the commercial floor. currently the crane is lowering the bottom of three spans of red iron beam to guys on ladders at both columns ready to slot them into the iron spacer. they call it red iron. i guess it’s steel, and much heavier than the gray steel uprights that continue up from the commercial ceiling. two different types of buildings, put up by the same people. i guess it’s all steel to them. i don’t even know the boston guy’s name.

last evening after they all left around 3:30 i went out and ducked inside the fence and went to the metal dumpster and fished out and hurled over my back fence all the rebar i could find. 3′ lenghts of inch thick stuff, right angles of half inch stuff, loads of bolts and nuts and washers that clanged like glass. what great yard art this’ll all make, especially the chimes.

i decided where to put the kousa dogwood, and it’s near the dog pen 2/3 of the way back. i want to put an oak in the middle of what used to be the boundary in the middle of the ex driveway. that’ll teach them.

there’re red things on the vault, they look like the forms partially assembled and waiting. there’s a cage rising in the middle of the dirt, and another one on the east end, one more to be built.

the steel guys all stand and look at the guy who is wrestling the end into the slot of the spacer. like watching tv. necks craned, leaning against something.

you can tell forman on the site. he’s got this hangdog posture, like he was teased alot when he was a kid. nobody loves me.

surveyors are out. they were marking up the street at the corner, about 4′ from the curb, and now they’re on the vault and shooting into the depths of the covered lower parking deck.

i just heard one of the men shouting to another something about the hospital. wonder if i missed something. i cringe thinking about those steel beams whanging into some poor guy’s head. but any one of these jobs, from laying cinderblocks, to nailing up metal studs and drilling stuff, to gridding for a cement pour, none of them won’t kill you. i’ve never seen a more dangerous place than a construction jobsite.

the crane operator is long and lanky with a slouch in his hips. probably a good lover, or at least built that way. he must be bored. wonder if he sits in the cab and jerks off. or thinks about sex. big hands. he’s black. these days, if you’re not on a mexican crew, then you’re american, and then it doesn’t make any difference what color you are. if you speak american then you’re in. a new kind of racial equality. they’re unionized, too. it helps. gives the men a sense of belonging.

they’re puttig bright shiny strips the same metal as the studs, up along the bones of the building. where it was steel, which is shiny enough, now it’s glisteny. they’re covering the back part of the second and third residential floors, and they’re doing much the same on the cyde street and bissey street sides. they’re not touching the first residential floor yet, so maybe they’re not done building that floor. and to look at the dirt-floored one-section gap in the deck of that floor, the commercial floor and the basement parking lot below, i’ll bet that’s the reason. they can’t build up until they’ve poured a floor, and they can’t do that until they pour the columns and level the ground again. then they can put up another level of columns, then connect steel to it, and put planks down, and it’ll be ready for finishing and striping and landscaping. when will that day come?

the muck in the back is still bright orange, but it’s dust and chunks of dried mud on the left – the actual lowest part of the yard – and it’s still goopy and thick by the pecan trees and the drainage ditch which they covered in with gravel but which still drains better than the area around the tree. in the height of the water from the rain, the lower end of the side fence, where the rosebush is, was pooled with water runing off the nextors’ side yard, built up 3′ higher than our yard. the water problem we have is that the fronts of the houses are bult up to street level, and then they all drop off ten feet or so to the back yard level, and slope gently downhill from there. now, because they dumped 3′ of dirt on their yards, the nextors, guy, and maggie (not) all have back yards with no slope except for the rut-carved sunken area between nextor and guy, where cement trucks turn around so they can pour thru the back gate. i suspect they will demand the company regrade, and while they’re at it seed it too. i’d love to know how guy’s conversaton with beancounter would go.

the workmen are at lunch now. i can’t see anybody moving except a couple or three guys hanging out on the vault with their luches. and a guy talking on his phone leaning against the 2nd residential floor edge of what they’re starting to put up now.

i can see the metal studs filling the west side of the bissey/clyde street corner. i must be looking at the south wall of the shop on the corner, and then the walls to be of the elevator lobby.

the sewer guys out front are still working. i can hear the beep beeps of a vehicle, dumptruck or bulldozer, backing up slowly. they’re working in front of the shops on the maine street corner today. they dug all the way across the street, and down thru the sidewalk. we could see 3′ of the granite curbstone suspended over the hole. we could see the gentle folding of the earth beneath the surface, where it had never been disturbed before. what the original hilside looked like before they filled it in to make maine street level, w hich it sure wasn’t back before the civil war. it was brow of a hill, with gulleys. i asked the guys if they’d let me have the curbstones when they were in front of my house, and if they wouldn’t be averse to a little bribery – i touched his arm for assurance – but only of a plate of cookies. he said talk to the boss. i will, the day they show up in front of my house again. or i’ll get husband to.

we waited all day for the guy from the contractor or the city or whatever to come by, and he never did. perhaps he likes to tell people next tuesday when he wants them off his back. and i did call his cellphone. and he did remember me, and promised tuesday. maybe they think we’re home all the time. we are, mostly. except for dog walks and shopping trips, one of which we avoid studiously, putting it off until we’re actually out of something. but sometimes husband wants to get off by himself, and so he goes wandering off on a round robbin of shops and stops.

getting cloudier, overcast now. rain’s in texas but thickening this way. no snow in this one, was some in the last one but, of course, it didn’t get here. we were speaking wistfully with the surveyor who was out front, of the last ice storm. he remembers 1979, but the one in ’82 is what husband remembers, and i remember the one in ’99 which was a small event, only a day without power. then both of them discovered they were riding around in their vw bugs when the storm hit. the surveyor was smoking dope. all surveyors smoke weed. it’s a law. betcha i’m right. i’ve tested it.

cement truck backed up thru the back gate. did it leave ruts in the middle of the yards? they’re pouring a trench connecting the part that runs along the alley, the cement one-storey ladder-on-its-side-looking part of the parking deck wall that they’re now putting steel on at the bissey street end, but is still dirt at the east end of the property. now they’re filling in around a footing, a bunch of rebar sticking up about 4′ and waiting to be made into a cage. the footing will settle the rebar and then they can go ahead. the foundation trench i suppose is the edge of whatever they’re going to do next, because it goes right to the east wall they built when they first started pouring, back in september. i’m hoping finally for another chance at my symbol in the wet cement. and there’s aways when they cement up the alley, i’m sure i’ll get it in then. they’ll have to take the fence down, not that i can;’t get thru it whenever.

later, it’s darker still, only cold inside. they all have jackets on outside. they’re knocking together forms in the middle of the dirt floor, ladders propped up, hammering and hammering.

roswell drywall has put a sign up on the front to say they’re here. perhaps it’s the drywallers who are putting up the studs, but maybe the commercial floor is well enough along to start.



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