Friday, June 20, 2014

Year 2, Day 234: 20 June 2014

Alas, just when i was anticipating a quiet post-substation summer and basking in the luxury of open streets and lots of parking spaces! Someone on the substation crew told me this morning that a crew from the city Water Management Department had been scoping out Farwell Ave. in anticipation of replacing the water mains fromAshland to Sheridan beginning within the next couple of weeks. All i can say is: "Noo-oo-oooo!" Will this never end? I've seen the water main work being done around Loyola Ave. and had read a notice from Joe Moore's office, but somehow completely missed the fact that Farwell was on the list. I was going to post the official announcement from the Water Management Department, but i checked their website and the most recent list they've posted is for May. Because Chicago. At any rate, here is a link to the alderman's post. Be alert for last-minute signs about parking restrictions. Because, once again, Chicago. 

And, as though that weren't enough, i came across this notice posted to a utility pole. 

To summarize: there will be noise, noise, and louder noise, plus work lights and restricted access in some areas. I'm really beginning to regret the fact that i was too broke to take that vacation to a secluded spot somewhere in Montana this summer. Hang in there, folks; at some point, all this work has got to come to an end.

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Year 2, Day 233: 19 June 2014

This is indeed a momentous occasion. The fence is down!
For the first time since 9 January 2013, the sidewalk is unobstructed and the street is open to traffic; Doggie Demeanor and i took a stroll right down the middle of the street this afternoon, just because we could. The section of Farwell running under the L viaduct has also reopened to traffic. 
The substation construction project is finally winding down, and it won't be long until it is completely finished. The building looks beautiful and is now fully visible at ground level, so if you're in the area stroll on over and have a look!  

Preparing to reopen Farwell at Glenwood (west side of the viaduct)

Moving the Jersey barriers 

The fencing was stacked up and carted away,
looking much the worse for wear after a year and a half
of withstanding the elements.

Smooth sailing under the viaduct

At long last, an unobstructed view from the corner of Glenwood and Farwell.

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Year 2, Day 232: 18 June 2014

This may not be the most action-packed picture i've ever posted here, but it marks a historic moment: the substation has been energized! The man in the background is hooking up the electricity, a sure sign that the job is nearly complete. 

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Year 2, Day 231: 17 June 2014

Today's substation activity deserves its own theme song.
The whole building was shaking this morning when the steamroller got underway, crushing the gravel along the roadway. By day's end, Glenwood Avenue was covered in macadam and -- for the first time in a year and a half -- was looking like a real street again. It won't be long now, folks! 

PS. I had a funny encounter last weekend. As i was walking past the substation two men were standing looking at it and asked me if i knew "what that building is." I laughed and said, "You really asked the right person!" and went on to explain what it was and what purpose it would serve when completed. They were surprised that such a beautiful building had such a practical purpose. So clearly i'm not the only one who appreciates the beauty of this building. 

Friday, June 13, 2014

Year 2, Day 227: 13 June 2014

This week, the work has been all about finishing the arches and working on the sewers in the intersection of Wayne & Farwell. 
After the application of several layers of cement or plaster, an added layer of epoxy, and what appears to be a coat of light brown stucco, the arches are finally finished. They look beautiful (as all the masonry work on this project does).  Meanwhile, the old brick catch basins under the street at the intersection have been dug up and replaced with concrete ones to accommodate the new sewer lines. 




The finished walls


Saturday, June 7, 2014

Year 2, Day 221: 7 June 2014

The stinky star of today's show was the tar kettle. It was fascinating watching the crane move it from one spot to another. I love watching the crane in action. 
And the tar kettle? I was just happy to see it go.

It was interesting to watch the worker in the center of the picture
giving hand signals to the crane operator as he maneuvered the tar kettle
 to a new spot. 

Just look at that fragrant tar smoke wafting upwards….

Meanwhile, the bricks were sprayed down again.
The brickwork on this building is really beautiful!

Friday, June 6, 2014

Year 2, Day 220: 6 June 2014

It was a busy day at all corners of the substation today as all the final details are being completed. 
At the south end, after a series of man-sized holes were dug out by hand this morning, the entire 
area was smoothed out and given a bed of concrete.

 Meanwhile, at the north end, a large hole was excavated at Farwell this afternoon, but 
appeared to have been filled in by day's end.

And the masonry team continued covering the cinderblock areas with what appears to be 
a thin layer of cement. 

And while the tar kettle chugged away in all its fragrant glory, a long hose carried tar up to the roof.

Thursday, June 5, 2014

Year 2, Day 219: 5 June 2014

I've been wondering for a long time what, if anything, was going to be done to cover the cinderblocks in the archways, so today i was thrilled to see them being worked on. It will be interesting to see what the finished surface will look like. The brickwork on the building was beautifully and meticulously done, and i imagine whatever is done to the arches will complement it nicely.

In other news, there's a tar kettle on the site so it looks like the roof will be getting finished soon as well.

Here's how it looked by the end of the day.