Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Year 2, Day 1: 29 October 2013

Happy 1st Anniversary, Substation; Happy 1st Birthday, Blog!

On this date in 2012, work on the substation "officially" began. There were a few busy days, replacing the long armatures on the streetlights (seen in the picture below) with shorter ones to accommodate all the equipment that was needed for the job, and chopping down the ailanthus trees, which were admittedly scruffy looking, but which provided shade, privacy, buffering of the noise from the L, and endless hours of entertainment watching the squirrel circus. Due to some kind of bureaucratic issues or other, the actual work did not, however, begin until more than two months later, on 9 January 2013. 

29 October 2012
29 October 2013

And now a personal note:

Dear Substation,
Well, here we are still together after one full year. I must admit that i would not have chosen to spend the last year with you of my own free will: this was an arranged marriage, and i had no say in the matter. And i confess that i did consider leaving you last summer. You aren't always the best partner; you never seem to consider me when you decide to invite all your friends over for the weekend, keeping all the lights ablaze and making an ungodly racket. But just the same, i've stuck by you, enjoying the fact that life is never dull around here since you came to stay. I've enjoyed seeing how you've changed with each passing day, and i am still trusting that you will keep your promise to eventually make my life better by standing between me and the noise of the passing trains. In the meantime, chocolates make a nice anniversary gift.
Ms. Demeanor

Monday, October 28, 2013

Day 365: 28 October 2013

On this, the last day of Year One in the substation project, more cement was poured. Unfortunately, all i witnessed of it was the arrival of the cement pumping truck this morning; i didn't return until after dark, so i won't be able to see the results until tomorrow morning.

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Day 364: 27 October 2013

I rarely if ever post pictures of the southernmost part of the substation. This is primarily for logistical reasons: to get pictures of this part of the project, i have to walk down the horrible narrow passageway between the buildings and construction fence, a walk i prefer to avoid whenever possible. But since it is a peaceful, sunny Sunday, and the construction site is in repose until tomorrow morning, this seemed like a good opportunity to show what this end of the building looks like.
Arched entranceway on the south wall of the substation.

Two arches near the southern end of the substation. These arches have appeared
in many other pictures posted here, but this is a good closeup taken from ground level.

Saturday, October 26, 2013

Day 363: 26 October 2013

Another busy Saturday as the forms for the upper walls continue to take shape.

The view from the platform of the Morse Red Line station,
one block north of the substation.

The upper end of the worksite as seen from a southbound Red Line train.

The lower end of the worksite as seen from a southbound Red Line train.

Friday, October 25, 2013

Day 362: 25 October 2013

Gang forms have been erected along the tall west wall, so it looks like more concrete will be on the way. This wall is so high that it completely blocks the view of the buildings from the L. 

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Day 361: 24 October 2013

Work continues on the west wall. I haven't had confirmation on whether this represents the actual full height of the building (which would be different from what i had been told earlier) or if it might be a wall separating the substation from the tracks rather than actually being part of the substation itself. I know that the original plans showed the height of the building as being about 35 feet from street level, and this new structure is considerably higher than that. Stay tuned....

Threading another length of rebar through the west wall.

Climbing the walls

The view at the end of the day:

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Day 359: 22 October 2013

Today the gang forms for the second-floor walls were built. I was surprised to see another, higher row of rebar along the west wall, adjacent to the track area: it was my understanding that the substation would just be slightly higher than the rebar along the eastern wall, but this latest rebar is at least eight feet higher, so i guess we'll just have to wait and see.

These pictures show the progress over the course of the day, The first was taken at about 8:30 this morning, the last at 3:00 this afternoon.

Saturday, October 19, 2013

Day 356: 19 October 2013

After a couple of uneventful weeks, things were really buzzing on the construction site today. The workers started arriving long before the sun rose and were there after it set. The weather has suddenly turned very cold, so i'm sure the day seemed especially long to everyone working outside in the elements today. But the results are impressive: the concrete for the entire length of the second floor of the substation was poured and is now peacefully curing beneath a covering of tarps.

Before the arrival of the concrete truck, the entire site was carefully inspected and the day's plans were reviewed.

The pumping apparatus is set up.

Bringing in the hose to pump in the concrete.

Starting to pour the concrete

The concrete is up to the ankles of the worker bending over
in the middle of the picture. Maybe i've seen too many gangster movies
with references to "cement overshoes," but this would scare me to death. 

Smoothing the surface

Smoothing the surface with a 2x4

I've been trying for months to get a clear shot of the concrete
 gushing out of the pipe. This is the best picture i've gotten so far.

The southernmost section is completed.

The next truckload of concrete is waiting on Farwell Ave.

The view from the other side of the tracks

This worker only looks like he's up to his knees in concrete.
He's actually standing in one of the openings in the surface.

Once the concrete had all been poured, and the surface smoothed, the whole thing was covered so that it could cure. This is the same process as was done when the foundation was poured back in July.
Bringing in the tarps.

Meanwhile, at the north end, the last of the concrete has been poured,
and the pump and cement mixer have been retired for the day.

A few workers remained long past sunset. The last of the concrete was covered to protect it from the rain that began to fall early in the evening. At about 8:00PM, after the rain had stopped, a pair of workers uncovered the northernmost section and smoothed the last section of concrete .
I heard the front gate on the worksite open at around 5:00 this morning; sixteen hours later, a few vehicles are still parked on the site and the flood lights are still on. 
I confess that i enjoyed the peace and quiet the last two weeks, but to be honest, i found it a little boring after a while and was very grateful for all the excitement of this very long, but very productive day.

The coup de grace: smoothing the last section of concrete.