Sorry for the lack of updates. It has been a week of ups and downs and to be frank, I did not feel like talking about it.
I arrived back in town Monday around noon and had a small rest before going to the job site. I decided the best thing to focus on was upgrading the water evacuation system. So I converted the main pump to use 1″ PVC pipe instead of the 1/2 garden hose. It was made for this and just required the removal of an adapter. The difference was phenomenal and that small pump now puts out volumes close to the 2.5″ pump I rented. This allowed me to return the rental pump. If you find yourself in my shoes, do yourself a favor and install the 1″ PVC right from the beginning. It would have eliminated most of the storm water headache I had last week. I have bought materials to convert the second pump to the 1″ PVC rigid as well, but other tasks are currently more important. The upgrade took a few hours and then I was off to Physio to work on my knee which was very sore after the full blown sprint at the airport on Saturday.
Tuesday’s tasks involved continuing work on raising the tarp. I installed a plywood gusset at the rip along the main cable at the apex of the tarp. Unfortunately, the rip was too close to the top and when the tarp was lifted again, the pressure pulling down on the bottom side of the gusset was pushing the top side out and re-ripping the tarp. SO work on the tarp came to a halt again as I figured out a new action plan.
Mid morning, my Geotech engineer came by to inspect the end of excavation and address concerns raised by WorkSafeBC. There definitely was concerns about the native soils that had washed out from behind the lock blocks. The options were to take the blocks down and reinstall, use a suction truck to remove the soil before back-filling, or just topping off with gravel. The concerns re the suction truck is that they need to liquify the soil before removing which could cause the bank to erode further. Fortunately the recommendation came back to just top off the gap behind the blocks with 3/4″ crushed gravel and I have ordered a rock slinger for Monday morning at 8 AM. These are cool trucks that use a built in conveyor to hurl the gravel long distances.
I will also need to cover the ends of the block walls that do not terminate into other blocks or dirt banks with plywood that I hilti to the blocks, so that the back fill material does not slough out. And in order to sling the rock, I will need to provide protection to the neighbors house by screwing plywood sheets into his battens (did I mention I have an awesome and understanding neighbor). I will also need the plywood backing along the tree and construction fencing so that they have something to ‘shoot’ against to allow the gravel to fall down into the hole. This is a bit costly as a method (cost to shoot is equivalent for the cost of the gravel so one load will be $800 or so), but this area cannot be back filled with an excavator and hiring labor to ‘bucket’ the gravel would have been more.
The rest of Tuesday was spent finishing the poly cover on all of the banks and blocks. I am very grateful that the multiple days of ‘showers’ forecast for this week have generally dried up.
Wednesday was tarp repair day. I found a vendor that makes reinforced rubber conveyor belts and bought 2 pcs that were 6″ wide, 48″ long and 1/2″ thick. I also picked up some 3/8 double braided poly rope. I decided to address one of WorkSafe’s concerns and remove the aircraft cable tie downs on the front of the tarp and upgrade with the rope. This way if something freaky happens and the tie downs some how get hooked up in the power lines, there is no potential for electric shock. I used the rubber strips as a stitch that draped over the main cable and clamped to the tarp on both sides. This will take all of the stress and transfer it to sound material on each side of the original tear and yet be flexible enough to bend and not ‘push out’ through the tarp material. This repair took the rest of the day. On my parts run in the morning I also returned stirrups used to lift the sump sections (for a whopping $1000 deposit return) and finally picked up the new rubber tracks for Alfie who will be very happy to have new shoes.
I also received a call and email late in the day from the engineer who now had new concerns regarding the slope of the excavated banks and that I had to modify them. This was very concerning as of course I no longer had machinery on site that could do this. The tarp would also now be in the way as it was not going to be as high as before without again calling in the arbourist, because the wind had ripped the eye bolt right out at the top of the stump tree. And then there was the fact that we were out of cash and needed to keep costs down between now and the end of the foundation pour where we would finally get our first construction draw. This occupied my attention for the rest of the evening and woke me up at 4AM this morning and generally was ruining my day.
SO this morning I called the lead engineer and discussed. I was relieved that there was probably other remedies available including covering the poly with welded wire mesh and securing to bank. We agreed that I would take a full video of the conditions and slopes so the lead engineer could review and make recommendations. With the threat of the return of heavy equipment averted, I returned to the task of raising the tarp back up and had just finished the front main two attachment points when WorkSafeBC showed up for a follow up visit and to deliver their report from the first visit. I explained the steps taken since their last visit and they seemed generally satisfied with the progress, although there was some disagreement between them and the engineer regarding the distance vehicles had to stay back from the pit edge. They will now just want to see the engineers memo with the revised instructions for the bank stabilization. It was then off to Physio where I asked them to switch it up and work on my back that was injured in yesterday’s movement of the tractor tracks.
So it looks like we are back on track again. I have looked at what is involved with raising the house out of the ground a foot to bring my grade closer to the neighbors where it belongs. But it looks like it is just too costly compared to just putting in some extra surface drainage in case his yard floods (he is the lowest on the street) and backs up into my yard. The extra 12″ of gravel would be at least $4000 and adding a row of ICF blocks would be $2000 for the blocks and then more $ for concrete & rebar. Then there would be the need to check with engineering to see if it changed the reinforcement requirements of the foundation. And then of course would be the tasks of trying to get District approval. For $1000 I can put in a french drain along that side of the house, so I will just chalk this up to a lesson learned and move on.
I want to give a shout out to my friend Ed in Winnipeg who is my neighbors brother and was visiting last week. He is now keeping tabs of the project on the vid cams and this website. Look forward to your next visit Ed!
I will leave you with these two photos showing some of the water buildup after last Thursday’s rains. This was after the rains had stopped and the pumps caught up a bit. As my neighbor would say “Poor – Very Poor!”
Thanks For visiting.