Friday, March 29, 2013

Day 152, 29 March 2013

As another week draws to a close, the excavation continues and it won't be long until the wall comes tumbling down. Thanks to the foreman, i am now the proud owner of an FH Paschen safety vest; i plan on wearing it with my Easter bonnet on Sunday. 

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Day 150, 27 March 2013, Postscript

I passed this flagman in his lonely outpost this afternoon. He's standing watch just south of Pratt Blvd., a block south of the construction site. I assume that he is there because of the way that the tracks curve, since otherwise trains approaching from the south would not be visible until they were fairly close to the worksite. In all honesty, though, i took this picture because he reminded me of a sailor, perched high aloft in the crow's nest of a sailing ship, looking for land or a great white whale. 

Day 150, 27 March 2013

Working out the logistics, as Big Blue approaches the narrow end of the work site. 

On 13 March, i posted pictures of a humungous circular saw cutting into the retaining wall. At the time, i interpreted this as a sign that the wall was about to come down, but it was actually part of the process of trimming and strengthening that section of the wall in preparation for the present stage of the work (the section of the wall that was worked on is visibly whiter in this picture). 

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Day 149, 26 March 2013

It was a busy, noisy, and muddy day on the worksite today as the installation of tiebacks continues. I've included a short video at the bottom of the page to show Big Blue in action.

Monday, March 25, 2013

Day 148, 25 March 2013

Here are a few shots of the tiebacks that i mentioned last week.

And a sunny smile on a cloudy day from the man with the very important job of keeping a watchful eye out for approaching trains. 

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Day 144, 21 March 2013

I asked one of the workers yesterday if the retaining wall would be coming down soon, and he said that for the next couple of weeks they'll be preparing to take the wall down by adding rebar tiebacks as reinforcement, then digging some more, then adding more tiebacks. This worker is cutting openings for the tiebacks in the steel panels: you can see the most recently completed hole on the right and the outline of where the next will go on the left. The big blue machine pictured yesterday is used to install the tiebacks. 

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Day 143, 20 March 2013

There's been a lot of activity in the past few days, and now that spring is at least nominally here, the pace is really picking up.

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Day 136, 13 March 2013

Preparations for taking down the retaining wall and clearing the embankment are underway. The steel panels that were driven into the ground in January are there to keep everything firmly in place as the embankment is removed. A huge circular saw was brought in this afternoon and started slicing through the thick concrete wall, first vertically, then horizontally. Judging from the rate at which the work is proceeding, i don't expect the wall to last for longer than a few more days. It was a fine old wall and i'll miss it. Last summer, when i spoke to the artist painting the mural on the next block (pictured yesterday), he told me that this wall was scheduled to get its own mural this year. Then, just a few weeks later, i learned that rather than getting a nice splash of color on that fine old wall, we'd be losing the wall and getting a substation. But although i may sound a bit mournful, i'm also a big supporter of public transportation and appreciate the need to upgrade the infrastructure of the L system. 

Monday, March 11, 2013

Day 134, 11 March 2013

The ground has thawed and there was a lot of digging and surface leveling going on today. 
This was the point at which i could no longer watch. Fortunately, the crew was especially careful, and the driver especially skillful, so that last little spit of land at the southern end of the site was cleared to the same level as the rest of the work area.

PS. Thanks to the crew for moving the dumpsters to a more accessible location. 

Friday, March 8, 2013

Day 131, 8 March 2013

As the snow slowly melts, the pace of work on the substation site is beginning to speed up. Today this temporary fencing was installed between the track area and building site.

Friday, March 1, 2013

Day 124, 1 March 2013

The pace seems to be picking up: there were more workers on the site today and the gravel patch is steadily growing.