Thursday, July 21, 2011

Paving the Way

It's about eight in the morning and, as a breeze still wends its way through the area, crews are busy all around downtown, trying to get as much as possible done before the heat of the day smothers any urge to work. The men in these pictures are working to repair and replace brick pavers that have become loose or broken in the streets and sidewalks around Monument Circle.

The photo above shows an air hammer being used to chip away the underlying cement and base, not only to improve the foundation for new bricks, but to prepare it for new curbing. It's a fairly selective annihilation; even as the workers pull up the existing bricks, they're trying to save as many of the pavers as possible. Not only will this cut down on the expense for replacements, it also helps to maintain a kind of patina from daily use, which the new pavers would not have. The piles of bricks below will be blended together as they are laid in order to avoid too much contrast between old and new.

The man below is taking a few moments to verify his calculations for the number of pavers needed to complete the project. As the project manager, he's hoping he won't need to order very many more of them, if at all. Lying on his foot he has a working drawing of the area and in his hands a little contractors' reference manual used to look up formulas for various calculations. 

He's got a bit of figurin' to do because the bricks are not only being replaced as needed, their numbers are being increased with changes in the layout of the streets and sidewalks. The following photo shows the markings made at the northwest corner of the intersection of Washington and Meridian Streets; it appears Washington Street is being narrowed with the sidewalks to become wider to provide a more friendly, boulevard atmosphere for pedestrians. The white marks indicate the cut lines for the workers who'll remove the pavement, but the writing indicates "Do Not Cut Bricks." Earlier I'd seen an older layer of bricks beneath the existing pavers. Perhaps they plan on using some of the them, as well, if they can be salvaged.

There aren't any letters to give a clue to the meanings of the orange and red hash marks, but that's a question for another day. These markings extend from the pavement on into the sand and gravel base of the new work. The ones shown above lie to my left as as I looked west on Washington Street to take this picture.


dive said...

I'm impressed with your city workers, Speedway. Taking the time to mix palettes of new and used pavers is a discipline that has to be beaten into works foremen most of the time (take it from one who has had to do a lot of beating). That level of care is going to make the view from the Artsgarden so much nicer than if they'd just left it all patchy.

I love the shot of the guy sitting and calculating; it looks like he's got the Little Book of Calm there to help him deal with his workers.

The red and orange hash marks tell the guy with the air hammer that there are service pipes running under them, whether electrical, water, gas, phones, whatever. Best not to drill into one of those!

This is a great post, Speedway. Yay for maintenance and city beautification.

Speedway said...

Hello. Dive! Glad you enjoyed the pictures. I want you to know that the workers are not employed by the city, but to a company that won the contract to repave the Circle and environs. They were good guys. I enjoyed talking with them.

Earlier today, I made a trip downtown (approx 98 degrees F) to pick up some enlargements. Surprisingly, lots of people were out and about at lunch time, but they, like me, were searching out the shady bits wherever they might find them. I looked at other areas to check the colored hash marks and found that the orange ones were for AT&T. OK, so that's communication lines. Still couldn't find any designated red marks.

Oh, I love the BBC show "Top Gear." The men are both informative and funny.

dive said...

Yow! That heatwave sucks. In Norwich and London we tend to know which shops have good A/C and get from A to B by running from shop to shop to keep out of the heat.

Top Gear used to be great about twenty years ago. It's gone a bit stale of late, but it's still admirably juvenile and succeeds in telling you absolutely nothing useful abut cars except that if you own an airfield you can have fun drifting them. I'm afraid I still watch it.