Progress on greenway--Nov. 28, 2010

The lower half is finished.  Looking upstream from near Midvale Blvd.


Progress on Greenway--Nov. 16, 2010

Photos & text by Kathleen McElroy  posted Nov. 16, 2010, 7:05 pm.

Hi folks,

I think today we've now seen all the pieces as they are being put together in the reconstruction of the greenway, after the sewer and laterals are replaced. The orange fences are now removed from the properties down here, and they have completed the storm channel alongside our house. The channel includes a little dam, nothing remarkable, kind of a bump in the layer of stone, but enough to slow the water a bit and eventually provide a little waterfall there.

The channel progress is slowed by the fact that they are doing both the tree planting and the erosion-control landscaping as they go. They planted another 7 trees down here today, leveled and stabilized the areas where the soil has been disturbed, mulched the trees, then seeded around them with what sounds like an expensive grass and wildflower mix.

Once seeded, the ground is covered with an erosion mat, to keep the seeds in place especially on the side slopes, to give the seeds a chance to germinate. If it stays warm and we get a bit of rain, we could see some of the seed sprouting already this fall, and beginning to dig their roots into the soil to stabilize the sloping hillsides.

New trees with mulch around--really good sized trees.
Click photos to enlarge.


 Installing the erosion mat; note that they are working around the tree mulch. They are pinning the erosion mat to the ground over the seeded ground, to give the seeds a chance to sprout where they were seeded.

Unrolling the erosion mat on our side, working around a tree--and finishing the mat on Marsha's side. Riprap channel in between.

Shows the scale of the reseeding and installation of the erosion mat.  In this case, all the soil disturbed during the installation of the lateral has been seeded and matted, and I think we all can expect that.

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Both Kathy and I are unable to report on progress for the rest of the week.  If you would like to contribute a report, send me an email with text, including photos as an attachment.  I will try to post them the same evening.  DavidThompson20@aol.com

Progress on greenway--Nov 15, 2010

Story and photos by Kathleen McElroy  Posted Nov. 15, 5:44 pm

After all these many months of waiting and wondering, the installation  of the riprap water channel began today. And as far as I can tell, it is what we were promised: The channel is deep with the sides armoured with good-sized riprap, and there is some kind of ground cloth laid in the channel and up the sides under the stone. The riprap is what we were promised, multi-sized field stone, largely with soft edges and an appealing contour.


How phosphorus escapes from construction sites

When you see mud in the lakes, you know phosphorus is escaping.
 Lake Mendota 7/7/10.

 Studies show that 19% of the phosphorus in our lakes--an important nutrient that causes the growth of toxic algae--comes from construction site erosion.


Progress on greenway--Nov. 12, 2010

The gravel check dam at the bottom of the ravine.
This is what they were working on yesterday, into the darkness.


Advice about care of trees in the ravine

Briana is the Plant Health Care Manager from Stephenson Tree Care, sent by the City to look after the trees during construction.*  She has some tips for residents along the ravine:

Thanks to the workers in the greenway!

Residents are impressed with your work!

Your skill, speed, and courtesy are legendary.

If you would like to order some photos of yourself at work, just let me know.  No charge.

Feel free also to explain what you are doing by making comments at the bottom of a blog entry.

Progress on greenway--Nov.11, 2010

Installing the 2nd lateral from Hillcrest.  The forester (bottom) is making clean cuts on tree roots.

By late afternoon, the sewer had been completed between the first two manholes at the west end.

Two laterals were under construction--feeder pipes from the first two houses at the west end of Hillcrest.

During installation of the first segment of the sewer, sewage was bypassed using a blue hose. As I arrived, workers had disconnected the bypass, and were milking the sewage out of it into the first manhole.

One resident arrived home just in time to observe the installation of his lateral. Apparently, residents haven't been notified by the City when their laterals will be installed.

Briana of Stephenson Tree Care was present, making clean cuts of the roots that had been cut while digging the trenches for the laterals.  Briana explained that the numerous large roots I could see in the excavations were most likely from trees that had been removed.

I was fascinated to hear Briana explain new technology for tree care.  For example, the compression of soil around roots--that occurs when heavy equipment drives near a tree--can be reversed.  An air probe injects air into the soil, inflating the soil to reverse the compression.

Brianna said this is the first job her company has been asked to help with during construction.  Usually, the company is asked to help repair damage to trees after contractors finish.  This sounds like progress in protecting trees.  Residents have been impressed that she spends so much time on-site.

Observers were impressed with the construction work.  There was no evidence of damage to tree trunks.  When the power shovel turned around, it retracted its arm--like a praying mantis--to avoid hitting trees.

The activism of residents along this ravine has helped set a new standard for tree care during construction.  New tree-care rules for contractors were written, the plan was perfected to save as many trees as possible, and  a forester is frequently present.

But residents near construction of the ponds along Old Middleton Rd didn't fare so well.  They lost over 400 trees--quite a few more than the plans called for.  Several trees were damaged.

Ravine neighbors... you spoke up, your voice was heard, and trees were saved.

As of 5:13 pm, it was already dark, but several pieces of heavy equipment were still working.

See all today's photos here.


Progress report on greenway--Nov. 10, 2010

  • As of Tuesday afternoon, tree removal had been completed. One large tree outside the orange fence lower north side) had to be cut, to accommodate a lateral.
  • Work was beginning on the sewage pipes...   They were digging a hole at the west end, to place the first junction for a lateral--a large, circular precast concrete structure.  The lateral to Marsha Siik's house had apparently been completed here.
  • A huge metal bin was being brought down to the hole. It was intended to be a "hopper" for gravel--a convenient place to store materials needed for construction.
The old, main sewage line is cut

Starting work on the main sewage line at the west end of the Greenway.