It is exciting to approach another milestone in progress toward our new facility. This week we are ready for gross demolition and almost ready to regain access to the old driveway to the loading dock. There also will be a one-day outage of lab drains in the Daniels wing to enable rerouting of lab-waste pipes.
The Charter-Street side of the loading dock driveway has been excavated, a manhole installed, and backfill restored and tamped down. The current schedule for the Charter-St. project indicates that the driveway will open Friday, Dec. 21, for deliveries only; however, for each of the past two weeks that schedule has been pushed back, so access for deliveries may have to wait a bit longer. Subsequently, there may be temporary closures as a result of the chemistry-building project, which also has work to do in that area. In January we expect Charter Street to reopen for southbound traffic only. Full restoration of two-way traffic will not happen until spring 2019.
Traffic patterns in other streets around us have changed. Mills Street is now open southbound only and the bus stop on Mills near Johnson is open again. Traffic in University Avenue has been diverted to the north, but three lanes remain open. The traffic lane closest to our building is now the bike path and pedestrian walkway, which had to be diverted to make room for the construction area. If you walk or bike along University Avenue, be very careful. Trucks and semis bringing construction materials in or out must cross both the pedestrian and bike lanes to get to the site. Look for and obey the directions of construction workers who will be shepherding trucks into our building site.
Gross demolition begins this week and will continue into January. Debris has been removed from inside the Mills-St. atrium and the old lecture halls. Roofing material has been removed in preparation for tearing down the old building. After demolition begins, please be even more vigilant for your personal safety. Demolition will involve considerable activity by heavy equipment, trucks, and work crews.
“Soil nails” are being installed in the area-well excavations on the Mills-St. side of the building. Soil nails hold back the earthen walls of the pit to prevent collapse onto workers. They must be at exactly the proper angle and length so that they do not pierce any existing utilities, such as a gas main. They are long, ridged steel rods that are installed by two workers, one setting the proper angle and another operating a specially-equipped back-hoe machine.
Remember that on Tuesday and Wednesday there will be plumbing work that requires shut-down of labs in Daniels from 6 am to 3 pm. On Tuesday nobody should use any sinks anywhere on the east (Mills-St.) side of all floors in Daniels. On Wednesday nobody should use any sinks on the west (toward Charter St. and the church) and south (Johnson-St.) sides. For more details please see the email from Bob McMahon sent Thursday, Dec. 13, a little after 5 pm. Anything that goes down a drain might end up in the face of a plumber, so this shut-down is very important. Restrooms will not be affected.
This information is up-to-date as of Friday afternoon. Email bulletins will be provided as needed.
John Moore and Bob McMahon