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2018 Update #36

Blasting in Printer’s Alley Comes to an End

Late Thursday afternoon Maine Drilling & Blasting conducted its 15th and final blast in Printer’s Alley.

Our 40-foot-diameter launch pit now stands 38 feet deep and ready for the next phase in the construction of our new downtown drainage system.

Thanks for your patience if you were one of those caught in the five-minute shutdown that accompanied each blast downtown. And a special thank you to those in our downtown buildings who had to work through a fairly predictable but occasionally nerve-wracking blast experience during the past month.

None of our historic buildings were affected by the blasts and the general consensus seems to be that Maine D&B, supported by Kubricky and ECI, did an excellent job managing what many expected to be the most challenging part of this year’s work.

ECI will now excavate the fractured rock from the final blasts, work that will continue into early next week. Noise Alert: the “hoe-ram” (jackhammer on steroids) will likely be in operation on Friday and/or Monday.

On Friday Maine D&B will load out the blasting mats in Printer’s Alley and then mobilize into Triangle Park to do some test drilling. It’s likely that Maine will conduct 2-3 blasts in Triangle Park the week of July 23. More on the timing as things take shape.

Speaking of Triangle Park, you’ve probably noticed that work began Monday as planned at the intersection of Main Street and Merchants Row. Hayward/Baker mobilized into the Park and on Tuesday began drilling minipiles to stabilize the slope above the rail line. These minipiles are 14-inch-diameter steel casings that are augured into the ground in sections to a depth of about 42 feet.

So why the construction in Triangle Park? This is the site of that section of the new drainage system that we’re calling Receiving Pit 2. Think of this as the southern arm of the drainage system. Stormwater from the Town Green will flow into this receiving pit and then by gravity into the launch pit and from there to Otter Creek. I’ll go into more detail on how the drainage system will improve stormwater management and water quality in Otter Creek in a future blog.

Receiving Pit 3, the northern arm of the new drainage system, will be located north of Printer’s Alley and just south of the large green trash compactor that sits alongside the rail line in the Marble Works. Hayward/Baker will mobilize into this area and begin drilling mid-week next week. This work is expected to take 3-4 days and will not involve blasting.

As a reminder, the five parking spots on Main Street alongside Triangle Park are now closed to the public to allow the contractor safe access in and out of the construction zone.

Work on the temporary access road connecting Water Street to the Battell Building parking lot will take place intermittently next week.

That’s all for today. See you downtown.

Please keep your comments and questions coming. Send me an email at and I’ll try to cover it in my next update.

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