Monday, May 10, 2010

The Great Retaining Wall Project of 2010 II: Electric Boogaloo

Late last week I contacted the company that is building our retaining wall to find out if I could get an approximate construction date.  I wasn't looking for a date set in stone but I did need a general target date so that I didn't plan to go out of town while construction was underway.  I was expecting at least a six week wait.

When they called me back, they said "Well, we could start on Monday."

*blink blink*

OK, then.  I figured the sooner the better and we didn't have any reason to wait.  So I gave them the go ahead.  On Mother's Day I spent some time digging up the plants I wanted to keep and I told my neighbor to pillage anything else she might want (which she did).

At 7 am this morning, construction commenced.

To refresh your memory, the wall before demolition looked like this.  By 7:45 am they had the long part of the "L" completely demolished and pulled out and they were working on excavating back into the hill.  As they pulled the wall apart with a bobcat, fun things like this happened:

By 9 am, they had already put down the gravel footings and begun to lay the blocks:

They continued to work through the morning and early afternoon and by 1:00 pm (which, apparently, is officially quittin' time) they had this much completed:

Obviously the bobcat is blocking it, but the wall runs right into that corner.  Some of the shorter parts of the wall are already completed and just require the capping block to finish them.  I assume they'll be here at approximately Oh-God-Thirty tomorrow morning and will continue building up the higher portions of the wall.

Now that they've pulled the old wall out and piled it up to the side of our driveway, I'm about 85% convinced that the damn thing was only continuing to stand due to spit and sunshine.  The timbers are exceedingly rotted.

That, my friends, is what time and wood destroying insects will do to untreated lumber.  In case you were ever wondering.

I'm looking forward to watching the progress tomorrow.  Liam, I'm sure, will be disappointed that he has pre-school and can't spend time watching the construction but he'll live.

And, oh hey!  Guess what?  My snowball bushes are a-bloomin'!

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