Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Day 276: 31 July 2013

Just to put things in perspective, this project has now lasted longer than the average human pregnancy. And like a pregnancy, it has not been without its discomforts. The various crews who have worked on the job have had to deal with the logistics of maneuvering large machinery in a small space with a lot of overhead wires and people living just a few feet away. Those of us who live in the neighborhood have had to deal with sometimes painful levels of noise, dirt, and fumes, and--during the early, "extremely loud" phase--floors and walls that occasionally shook so badly that things fell off the shelves; we've had to cope with the loss of parking spaces, the inconvenience of having to walk up to half a block to get to our trash dumpsters, and--perhaps worst of all--the loss of privacy. But that's life in the big city, and we all try to get through it--both workers and neighbors--with as much consideration, patience, and courtesy as we can muster. 

Things are quieter at this point, now that the project is moving closer to the actual building stage, but despite my litany of inconveniences, i find myself missing those earlier days of the project. It was a lot of fun taking pictures of the Hütte and the excavator crawler in action; by comparison, i'm finding things a little less exciting to watch these days. But exciting or not, this is an important stage in the work, and it is impressive to see the precision with which all the measurements are taken; and it's kind of fun to watch the concrete being poured. The major concrete foundation should be poured in a couple of weeks, so until then, i guess it will be more measuring, more rebar, and more wooden forms. As a side note, i have to admit that i do enjoy the sounds of rough carpentry: the whine of a circular saw, the rhythm of a hammer. 

Here is how things were looking yesterday. I'm guessing that the brick-sized pieces of concrete are being used as supports for the rebar framework.

10AM, Tuesday

11:30 AM

11:30 AM
This group of pictures was taken on Tuesday evening.

By late this afternoon, several sections of a wooden barrier had been built. I assume this is going to be used as a form for the thick concrete foundation.

Monday, July 29, 2013

Day 274: 29 July 2013

The tarps were removed and last week's concrete work inspected. 
Then additional rebar was added to the main area.

Another load of rebar was delivered this morning.

Building a stairway to track-level

Saturday, July 27, 2013

Day 271: 26 July 2013

I seem to have lost the ability to edit myself, so here are many more pictures than usual, all but the last two taken within a two-hour time span at the beginning of the day. The process should be fairly self-explanatory, involving the pouring, spreading, and smoothing of a layer of concrete to form a foundation for the substation. 
There are some parts of this job that have looked like a lot of fun: I would, for example, have loved to have been operating the excavator when the wall came tumbling down. But not this part. Maybe i've watched too many mobster movies, because looking at these guys slogging around ankle deep in concrete, really unnerved me. I kept thinking of things like "cement shoes" and wondering whatever happened to Jimmy Hoffa. 

This is what was happening between 7:00 and 8:00 AM:

That stupid power-line is so hard to avoid.
It manages to photobomb its way into the the middle of every picture i try to take.

 Between 8:00 and 8:30 AM:

At 9:00 AM:

By the end of the day, the concrete pad covered the entire site. 

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Day 270: 25 July 2013

After all the activity yesterday, today seemed tame by comparison. A fresh load of lumber was delivered bright and early and much of the day was devoted to building the next sets of wood forms.  

Meanwhile, back at the south end of the site...
Continuing to chip away at the last little corner of the wall

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Day 269: 24 July 2013, Afternoon

Over the course of the day, a layer of cement was poured into the whole area and protective coverings were placed over each of the four main sections.