The image above was caught by Jim Houston one sunny afternoon. It is our southwest stained glass window projected onto the construction hoarding.
Here now is your update on the North West Tower Rehabilitation
So how is the construction project going?
Very well once we had had the unsuspected asbestos removed, which was lurking under the floor boards. It cost approximately $6,000 to remove the wrapping from a 12 foot length of pipe.
Will the Tower go back into its original position?
No, but it will stop it leaning any further. Another Leaning Tower of Pisa might sound interesting as a tourist attraction for our Church but definitely not a good idea!!
Clifford Construction have had to do a lot of preparation to get to this point. Carmen Lupo, the “go to guy”(see photo) on site and his crew carefully dug, with a hydrovac and by hand, down to the Church foundations, digging under the huge 1847 stones. At strategic points where the helical piles have been placed a big square has been dug. So Friday 29th January the #1 helical piles were surrounded by an iron cage of criss-crossed iron bars.(see photo) Once in position they carefully poured the concrete to fill the iron skeleton and the ditch connecting the inside and outside under the foundation wall, vibrating the concrete to get the rebar in position and ensure even distribution of the concrete.(see photo) All during the process the representative from R.J.C. Consulting Engineers was doing the quality control.
The engineers had specified the percentage of each of the concrete’s constituents. An independent contractor will test each batch for water content and strength. Terraprobe the “tester” took 4 cylinders of concrete (see photo) 1 to be tested at 24 hours, 1 at 7days and 2 at 28 days. So this was the first set of 3 helical piles to be completed, now there are all the others. It is a slow meticulous process to make sure everything is completed to the engineer’s specifications and that the construction crew are working under safe conditions.
I hesitate to tempt fate but Clifford Construction and the RJC Consulting Engineers hope to have the inside work finished by the end of February and the outside about the middle of March, if everything goes smoothly. The outside cracks will be caulked but the finishing mortar will not be done until the Spring as it is too cold to ensure a good colour match.
Site meetings with all the participants, are held every 2 weeks so if there any more questions, please don’t hesitate to ask
By Jean Robinson (“Clerk of the Works”)
Jim Houston caught this image on the hoarding one sunny afternoon.