Construction Update

Here you see the team prepping the base for a lightpole in the southern half of the Square (we've shown completed bases from the northern half in previous posts).  They create a wooden frame, screw in the pipes which you see at the one workers feet, then fill the wooden structure with cement.  Once the cement is set, they remove the frame.  You can see how deep the hole is in order to make a sturdy fixture - the structure for the base is chest-high.

Stand at the fence by PPG 2.  The fire hydrant you see will be on the sidewalk by the building.  When you see that, you realize how WIDE the renovated sidewalks will be.  It's very surprising.  There will be plenty of room for sidewalk cafes!

Here you see a compacting machine.  Before you lay a sidewalk or road, you must make sure the soil is well-compacted.  Dirt slowly settles over time and without any support pavement will crack.  You can avoid settling by compacting your dirt first.  You may see this machine at other Downtown work sites, like Three PNC's work on Market Street, a block from the Square.  This is another chance to comprehend how deep pavement layers are; the mulch around the tree will be flush with the sidewalk when finished.  The City-standard 3'x3' tree pits are protected during this process by fencing.  This is another reason to use small, hand-held machines instead of large ones - to protect the tree pits and branches.  When working on the larger open areas, where the trees will not be endangered, you will probably see larger compacting machines.
This week they are also focusing on the electricity that runs to the tree pits.  They are setting the stage for the lighting that will be installed later in the project.

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