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2018 Update #38

The View from Above; Bringing July to a Close

Lots of construction activity downtown as we build the northern and southern arms of the new drainage system and prepare to bore the first of three underground tunnels, this one 175 feet out to Otter Creek.

But first, I thought you would enjoy seeing this overhead view of Printer’s Alley and the launch pit taken about 200 feet up by drone. Thanks to Pat Paquette and Mark Billings, the field superintendent and blaster, respectively, for Maine Drilling & Blasting, for providing the photo.

So on to what took place this week and what’s planned for next week as we close out July and start in on August. Hard to believe that school will be back in session this time next month.

Following the last blast in Printer’s Alley, which took place a week ago Thursday, Kubricky, ECI, and Maine D&B have been working together to prepare the launch pit for the arrival of the tunnel boring machine. Mark your calendar, it’s scheduled to arrive on August 8.

That means a lot of hammering (thanks for bearing with that noise!) to round out the bottom and sides of the launch pit, excavating of fractured rock, and stabilizing the rock face.

Next week, rock netting will be installed to protect workers in the pit from any falling rock and a concrete pad will be built to level out the bottom of the pit and provide a platform for the tunnel boring machine.

In Triangle Park, Hayward/Baker completed drilling 15 steel minipiles down to a depth of about 40 feet in order to stabilize the slope above the rail line. Next week Kubricky will install what’s known as timber lagging between the minipiles and will drill “tiebacks” into the slope. The purpose of all this work is to stabilize the slope in preparation for excavating Receiving Pit 2, the southern arm of the drainage system.

Maine D&B will then begin test drilling to determine the blasting plan for Triangle Park.

As I mentioned last week, Receiving Pit 3, the northern arm of the new drainage system, is located about 50 yards north of Printer’s Alley alongside the rail line in the Marble Works. Hayward/Baker will now mobilize into this area and begin drilling on Monday morning. H/B will be installing 15-20 steel minipiles, the same as has taken place during the past two weeks in Triangle Park. This work is expected to take at least a week and should not involve blasting.

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

STEAM Teens Tour the Construction Site

This week Kubricky hosted a group of local teens attending the weeklong STEAM summer camp run by Addison Central Teens. (STEAM = Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, and Math.) Addison Central Teens Executive Director Zoe Kaslow and Jacqueline Palacios, a Middlebury College intern, and seven STEAM campers were given their own reflective vests by Kubricky and treated to a 90-minute up-close look at all four of our downtown construction sites. Everyone enjoyed having the kids on site.

The Downtown Survey

Thanks to all who took the time to respond to the one-question survey I sent out on Tuesday. This was designed simply to help us think about the future of our downtown as we make our way through three years of construction. Many of you clearly are thinking about that future: nearly 150 people responded in just a few hours. If you haven’t done so, you can take the survey here. I’ll summarize the results of the survey for you in an upcoming blog.

Thanking Our Watering Volunteers

Members of the Unitarian Universalist Church took over watering our downtown planters and flower boxes during the hot stretch of weather in July. A special thank you to Barnaby Feder, Thomas Jackson, Melissa Hammerle, Jean Terwilliger, Sue Rasmussen, Marnie Wood, Llyn Rice, and Nancy Means Wright.

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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