Friday, April 27, 2007

Our Western, I mean Eastern Wall,

With the Partial Stop Work Order now in place, excavation near the 100' long Eastern wall has come to a stand still. The only contradiction is that the official SWO description specifically details the "Western" lot line as the problem, but what I think they actually intended to say is the "Eastern" side of the lot. The Brooklyn Department of Buildings have their compass directions mixed up. As you dig closer and closer to the center of the Earth, direction does starts to get a little confusing.
Regardless, there are two D.o.B. requirements of the partial SWO. The first is to back-fill the hole along the area directly behind the cracked and failing 1504 8th Avenue to a depth of 10'. The photo above shows the extent of the back fill. Looks like they only got around to filling the hole to maybe 15' below grade, but who exactly is counting.
The second requirement is that they cease all work within a safety buffer zone 20' out from the wall, creating a 2000 square foot area off-limits to any further excavation. For now I guess this SWO will stay in place until 1504 can be stabilized. Permits have been posted on the front door of the damaged building, but as of today no external bracing or stabilization work has been executed.

The Ramp

Excavating a hole this size becomes tricky. With only one way out to 15th street, you have to make sure you don't paint yourself into a corner.

Twenty feet deep and the pilings start to wander off coarse.
It is now evident that as the boring machine went deeper the piling's alignment became less controlled. You can see at about 20' down they start to get a little funky. Some can be seen standing proud from the rest in the row. This makes it more difficult to fit the iron bracing flush against the piles.

Which Way to the Western Front?
However, along the rear and Western lot lines, the digging has progressed downward almost to the maximum depth, where eventually, the finished 3rd subfloor foundation slab will be poured. This reinforced concrete slab is crucial as it is supposed to tie together all the foundation pilings, holding them in place. Think of it as the bottom of the box, so to speak. You can see the second level of bracing has started to be welded in place at the Southwestern corner.

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