Thursday, October 12, 2017

Step By Step

Baby steps - that's how our parking lot has been coming. For many years we had been smelling gas out there, especially when it was raining or with the spring snow melt. Gary, our landlord, finally did some checking and discovered that we had an old fuel tank underneath the lot. Apparently, when it rained or snowed, water was getting into the pipe that had let from the tank into the building. He sunk in another pipe to mark the location (as well as to aerate the tank gases), and started investigating how he could dig up the parking lot and remove the tank.

There's actually a slush fund for removing old oil and petroleum tanks from the ground. The City instituted this when many small gasoline stations quit business, but their fuel tanks still remained underground. New owners were reluctant to purchase the empty properties because removing the tanks and checking for any ground contamination by the petroleum, was extremely expensive. So the City put in a fund to cover the removal and soil testing for hazardous materials.

Remember this? In early August large equipment was digging out old
fuel oil tanks from my parking lot. By the end of the day, they had
uncovered a total of five tanks, and a one-day job had turned into a
two-day nightmare. 

Gary managed to get added to that list, and even though it took several years to get around to the actual extraction, it turned into something well worthwhile when instead of one used fuel oil tank, we actually had five! In early August, the tanks were removed, the soil was tested (fortunately we had no contamination) and several dump truck loads of dirt and rock were added to the parking lot to bring back the surface level.

Then we waited.

We all got used to parking without lines in a parking lot of dirt and sometimes mud. Then activity picked up again in late September when crews began to move the dirt around to grade it into preliminary levels. This week the concrete guys came in on Tuesday and poured and sculpted the concrete curbing. That took almost all of one day and they did a beautiful job. Yesterday, Wednesday, the asphalt team arrived.

In the background, you can see a clear line of demarcation where they had
already finished the multi-angled back row. Originally they thought they
would be finished by 6:00 pm, but because of those angles, it actually took
almost an hour longer. 

After regrading the lot to make put in highs for the cars and lows for water removal, the team got started dumping and applying asphalt. It took the team a while to get any real progress because the in and out angles of the back parking row were tricky. At mid-day, my staff sent me the photo above and the back lot was starting to look like we might have pavement once again.

Here's the final coat being put on in front of the back of the building. I'm really
looking forward to going to work today and being one of the first
to drive on the new asphalt, parking in my usual space, now nicely
outlined by concrete bunkers. We don't have painted striping yet, and
my signage still needs to be put in, but we're much closer
and it's such an improvement! 

At the end of the day, after the store was closed and the sun was almost down, they were compressing the final coat. My manager hung around outside to make sure that the vibration of the trucks wouldn't set off our security alarm as they were finishing up in front of the businesses.

There's no street parking today (fall street cleaning is scheduled), so I'm very grateful that they actually got this done yesterday. I'll be there fairly early today and have an opportunity to be one of the first cars to dirty up my new asphalt. I'm really looking forward to it - LOL.

Have a great Thursday. I got a LOT of work done on my holiday cards faceplate yesterday, so I'm quite happy today. Add in the new asphalt and I'm almost delirious - LOL.

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