I finally know how a gefilte fish feels in aspic! For the past four days, a crew of roustabouts have been installing sheet piles: massive lengths of steel driven deep into the earth to prevent our existing building from collapsing when excavation begins for the adjacent addition. How do you drive 11,000-pound monoliths of steel 22 feet into the ground? By dangling them at the end of crane and – using a massive hydraulic makherayke (contraption) – vibrating them at such high speed that they liquefy the soil beneath them and literally sink into place. Of course, the process not only shakes the steel but everything else for hundreds of feet in every direction: windows, walls, floors and teeth. The “seismic guy,” an engineer with two seismographs on the ground to make sure the shaking doesn’t get out of hand, assured me that we didn’t exceed .12 on the Richter Scale: enough to shake books off the shelves, but not enough to cause structural damage, which begins at .5. Comforting, but not enough to keep the computer screen from dancing on my desk as I write. The foreman assures me that in another half-hour the last pylon will be in place and the shaking will be over. Next week they’ll cut of the excess steel and install pressure-grouted diagonal steel bracing rods 40 feet into the ground. After that they can bring in the heavy machines and dig in earnest without worrying about toppling our existing building in the process.
Watch the progress on our planned 21,000 square foot expansion and renovation of existing space!
A Whole Lot of Shakin’ Going On!