Monday, December 9, 2013

Shhhh: Construction Work Halted for Final Exams

Construction crews have taken a break, adhering to a clause in the project plans that prohibits disruptive work onsite during study and exam periods. This means the library should be a quite area for study until December 18th, when workers are scheduled to pick up where they left off last Friday, December 6, after construction activity was shut down.

The pile driving operation that was to be completed last week ran into some practical problems that made adjusting the equipment to drive each pile take longer than planned. So after final exams have ended, the subcontractor for the pile driving operation will return to drive 30 or so piles that remained when the work stopped Friday. This should take just a few days.  Most of the piles to be driven will be used in the construction of a base for the crane that is expected to be the primary piece of equipment needed for constructing two more floors on top of the Howard-Tilton building.

Project managers believe that despite the break in the pile driving operation, the base for the crane can still be completed in time for the crane to be brought in on schedule in January. The crane will need to arrive on schedule so that the early work on the rooftop can be completed this spring, which will clear the way for the most noisy and disruptive structural and mechanical work, required to actually construct two more floors, to take place over the summer when fewer students and faculty will be on campus.

Meanwhile, work on constructing shear wall slab supports in the upper interior stairwells of the building has also temporarily ceased. When this work is also taken up again on December 18th, the focus will shift to the emergency stairwell on the side of the building closest to Dixon Hall.

New projects scheduled to begin during the upcoming intersession between the fall and spring semesters include construction of an overhead protection system to shield pedestrians near the building along Freret Street (including pedestrians using the library's temporary main entrance) and an external elevator, within the fenced construction zone, that will be used to regularly transport crews and materials to the rooftop.

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