Friday, December 20, 2013

Construction Resumes, Activity Will Increase

Work has resumed on the construction operations shut down on Dec. 6 for the fall study and final exam period. In addition, some new aspects of the project have begun. Overall, library users should now see a marked increase in the level of construction activity since most of the activity during the fall semester was preliminary work. This means there will be more construction tasks taking place simultaneously, more work crews onsite, and more equipment and material routinely delivered through the main gate on Freret Street into the fenced construction zone.

Generally, the contractor plans to work on the construction project through the holiday break and intersession, with complete shuts downs planned only for Christmas Day and New Year’s Day, in order to get a lot of really noisy and disruptive work accomplished while most students and faculty are away. 

The subcontractor for the pile driving operation resumed work as scheduled this past Wednesday (Dec. 18). About 30 or so piles remained. Finishing these piles should take just a few days and all pile driving equipment should be removed from the site by the end of the day on Dec. 23. Most of the piles to be driven will be used in the construction of a base for the crane, which is now scheduled to arrive in early February, a few weeks later than planned.

Also on Wednesday the emergency stairwell on the Freret side of the building was officially reopened for access. The shelving that had been removed around the outside of the stairwell will likely be reinstalled during the first week of January, after the outside wall of the stairwell has been repainted.

The contractor has shifted its sheer wall construction work to the emergency stairwell on the Dixon Hall side of the library building. Temporary door alarms have already been moved and new emergency exit signs have been posted to accommodate this shift.

New work has begun on a Falling Object Protection System (FOPS) to cover areas where pedestrians will need to travel close to the library building along Freret Street. This project is to be done in two phases. The first phase, begun this week, will build overhead protection for the temporary main entrance. The second phase will provide overhead protection for the sidewalk heading west past the entrance along Freret Street and also the area outside of the library’s loading dock. The FOPS is to include lighting and security cameras underneath its covered walkways.

Work has also begun to erect the external elevator planned just inside the gate to the construction zone and to be set on its concrete base that was completed just before the study and final exam period.

Meanwhile, crews have increased the level of activity on the demolition operation in the library basement that is removing what is left of the old pipe, mechanical systems, and ceiling there.

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