Testing starts for next bluff work

Published 12:00 am Thursday, November 4, 1999

Work on the next phase of bluff stabilization has been slow, but City Engineer David Gardner said workers are close to starting full-scale operations on the project.

This week workers from Schnabel Foundation Co., which got the contract on the project last spring with a $5.2 million bid, is working on tests to determine whether its soil nails are at the right strengths, Gardner said. The project takes in 2,700 feet of bluffs from Madison to State Street.

&uot;We’re real close to getting started,&uot; he said. &uot;It’s been a slow process.&uot;

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The design submitted by Schnabel had to be approved by the city and by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, which administers the state and federal grants for the project.

This week Schnabel is testing its soil nails to determine which diameter will be strong enough for the design, Gardner said. Six- and eight-inch nails have already been tested, and Gardner expected the project to need 10-inch nails.

Gardner said it is more cost-effective to use 10-inch nails because fewer are needed.

To date the city has received $12.5 million for all of the bluff stabilization work, which included the first phase below Clifton Avenue.

That phase was completed early this year by Hayward Baker Construction Co. Gardner said Hayward Baker will have to return to repair a crack that has appeared in the shotcrete facade of that wall.

Although the crack doesn’t affect the wall structurally, Gardner said Hayward Baker workers will chip away the concrete and paint over it with a stain so that it isn’t as obvious.

The crack appeared along an expansion joint in the wall. The expansion joints are needed to give the wall breathing room.

&uot;They’ll mix up a stain so it’ll blend in,&uot; Gardner said. &uot;It’ll make it more presentable.&uot;