Removal of the tower crane, which has been in place since Memorial Day of 2019, is now complete, even though bad weather last week slowed the work considerably. University Avenue was partially closed on Sunday, October 11, but the first part of the crane was not taken down until early Wednesday morning. Delays were due to wind velocities greater than 25 miles per hour at the top of the tower crane. In such high winds the potential for parts of the crane to swing around and back-and-forth is too great and neither erection nor dismantling a tower crane can be done safely.
Work began well before sunrise on Wednesday to take advantage of low winds early in the morning. By 7:10 AM the end section of the main jib had been lowered to University Avenue, awaiting loading onto a flatbed semi. Carrying out this process begins with the large mobile crane holding the weight of a part of the tower crane while workers disconnect that part from the tower-crane structure. Then the mobile crane lowers the disconnected part to the street. After removal of the jib, counterweights were removed from the counter jib and carefully lowered to the street. Unfortunately, at this point, the wind speed increased and by 9:40 AM the large mobile crane had retracted its boom and no more work was done until Thursday.
Early Thursday morning the second section of the main jib was lowered, but no more could be done because again the wind speed again increased beyond the safety limit. The rest of the crane was finally dismantled on Friday, when the counter jib, the cab and turntable, and the tower itself were successively disconnected and lowered to the street.
Work by DoIT and FP&M to upgrade the WiFi system in the chemistry building began Friday, October 9. This involves the installation of a new ceiling- and wall-mounted devices and relocation or removal of old devices. A construction crew of two to four electricians is working in corridors, offices, and labs throughout our building complex. As the crew works through different parts of the building, they will need to switch over to the new WiFi system. The switchover will involve short interruptions in WiFi service.
Work from this week forward involves approximately two days per floor on these floors: floor 8 Daniels, floor 7 Daniels, floor 6 Mathews / Daniels. The schedule for subsequent phases is not yet available, but the WiFi upgrade will eventually include each floor of our building complex, with the exception of floors B,1,2 Daniels (where WiFi will be upgraded as part of the renovation that will occur as phase 2 of the big construction project).
The scope of this construction activity is limited so there is no reason to close floors or labs. Each individual, of course, is free to make their own decision about whether or not they wish to work in the building when construction is occurring in their area. The UW-Madison construction crew will follow all COVID-19 precautions dictated by the University and the State of Wisconsin. Construction activities typically begin at about. 6:00-7:00 am and are completed by about 3:00-3:30 pm.
The coming weeks will be a busy time for construction activities related to the new fire alarm system in the chemistry complex. Sprinkler pipe installation is currently underway on the second floor of Mathews. There are also construction crews working in several other locations. Here is a schedule of activities
19-Oct – 30-Oct Fire alarm riser – Daniels building
The contractor needs to return to the telecom closets to perform additional work related to the ‘backbone’ of the fire alarm system. The crew will need to be in and out of the Daniels telecom closets, which are accessed through the laboratories immediately north of the Daniels passenger elevators. The crew will require a clear path of access through the lab to the telecom closet. (Affected groups have already been notified. The duration was initially announced as 19-Oct – 23-Oct, but that schedule has been revised.) You are likely to encounter the crew in the corridors near the telecom closets and the Daniels freight elevator.
2-Nov Fire alarm connection to new tower – 8th floor Daniels building
Construction crew will install conduit in the west corridor, 8th floor Daniels, from the telecom closet through Rm. 8351 into the new tower.
3-Nov – 5-Nov Fire alarm connection to new tower – 1st floor Daniels building
Construction crew will install conduit in the 1st floor Daniels corridors, from telecom closet through the temporary block wall into the new tower.
6-Nov Shain tower shut down – emergency power connection to new fire alarm
This work involving the emergency power circuits requires that the main air supply fans for Shain tower are turned off. Without proper supply of fresh air, the building cannot be occupied. There will be additional, floor-by-floor partial outages of electrical service during the following week. Occupants of Shain tower will receive additional notification about these interruptions. These interruptions will not require any of the individual floors to be shut down.
Apart from the one-day shutdown of Shain tower, the Facilities Committee does not feel that it is necessary to close any portion of the building complex for this limited scope of construction activity. Each individual, of course, is free to make their own decision about whether or not they wish to work in the building when construction is occurring in their area. Construction activities typically begin at approx. 6:00-7:00 am and are completed by ca. 3:00-3:30 pm.
This information is up to date as of Monday morning. Email bulletins will be provided as needed.
We thank Jim Maynard and Gerald David of Miron Construction for photos used in this newsletter issue.
John Moore and Bob McMahon