By Tony Heath, Project Engineer

Howdy!

We closed out a productive week with a good day at the rain garden. Today’s work included Facilities and Services placing the granite along the edges of the garden and Prof. Art Schmidt’s CEE 458 Water Resources Field Methods installing monitoring conduit.

Granite edging: Facilities and Services started by placing the stone base along the west sidewalk while we waited for the first load of decomposed granite to arrive. The granite was delivered to “the Barn” on Lincoln Avenue and trucked to the site. (This minimized the time that we needed Housing’s parking spaces.) Edging of 8′ long and 1/8″ thick steel was staked into the base layer to create a clean edge for the granite. When the granite arrived, Rube and Josh continued working their way around the garden installing the steel edging while Josh and Stephanie placed and tamped the granite. The granite compacted more than I thought it would, so we installed it in two lifts in order to bring it up to within 1/4″ of the sidewalk edge. The edging and granite were placed slightly below the sidewalk grade and sloping towards the garden so that when water flows across them it won’t back up onto the sidewalk. Part of the reason the sidewalk flooding at the garden was so severe previously was that areas of the garden had been filled up above the sidewalk so that even though the garden had additional capacity, water wasn’t making it in at all. 

Conduit: In the afternoon while the F&S crew continued installing the granite, Prof. Art Schmidt’s CEE 458 Water Resources Field Methods class were on-site to install conduit for the post-construction monitoring equipment. The actual equipment will be installed at a later date but laying the conduit now minimizes the risk of damaging the plants after they’ve been planted. One of the garden’s goals is to be outdoor classroom integrated into academic coursework. We’re excited to have Civil and Environmental Engineering help us achieve this goal!

Next week is shaping up to be another busy week. The concrete finishers will be back on site Tuesday to begin framing the north sidewalk and laying out the abutments and footings for the new boardwalk while the remaining decomposed granite goes in. When they’re done, all that will be left is backfilling as necessary, applying mycorrhizal, and spreading mulch until we’re ready to plant! Can’t wait!