It’s the Final Countdown

By Tony Heath, Project Engineer

This post covers Tuesday, September 10th.


The final countdown begins. Today started the last week of construction* – planting begins next Monday! (*The crew got pulled off yesterday to work on a chilled water line boring – these things happen!)

Josh and Mark arrived around 8:30 a.m. to finish installing granite along the north sidewalk of the rain garden. It took them most of the morning, as the granite compresses considerably when it’s tamped down so they had to install it in 2-3 lifts.

Around 10:30 a.m., Wayne Bugaj from Facilities & Services Grounds arrived on site with the rented sod-cutter to remove the remaining sod in the undisturbed areas around the red oak tree. but outside the area where we laid down cardboard to smother the grass. The sod cutter works by having an adjustable blade that oscillates back and forth, making a clean slice just underneath the roots of the sod.

The cutter can be set in 1/4″ increments, so we were able to adjust it to remove the grass without harming the underlying tree roots. At first, I couldn’t tell if the sod cutter had worked because the grass looked about the same. On closer inspection, you can see that grass layer has been shaved off, leaving the soil underneath. 

After Wayne had made a few passes, we took down the tree protection fencing around the red oak and pulled the cardboard back slightly so that we could trim the grass areas around the edge. After lunch, Wayne and a crew from Grounds raked up the cut sod, leaving the soil exposed and ready for mychorrizal fungi and mulch.

While the Grounds crew was removing the sod, Josh and Mark did some final mass grading in the area where the bridge will go. We used the mini excavator and stayed out from under the tree drip line in order to minimize compaction. We widened the basin to improve the stormwater storage capacity and give water a clear path away from the base of the red oak tree.

Things are really starting to come together! Grounds will be back on site tomorrow to do some final preparations for mulch spreading. The labor crew may get pulled back off to the water line boring again, but if they’re on-site we’ll mark out the locations for the bridge footings and use the auger to make the borings. Three days of construction left! Can’t wait!

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