Baby it’s cold outside!!!!! And cold weather does impact construction activities. As of mid-September the goal was to have the pavers in place on Bank Alley and the 200 Block of East State St. Due the recent weather, the plan has been altered.
The rain and sudden sub-freezing temperatures have slowed the paving program. The installation process involves sand for the setting (bedding sand) and finishing (polymeric sand) of the pavers. When the sand is wet or frozen neither of these can be done properly. The sand can be warmed, however once placed on the concrete slab it begins to freeze again. The paving contractor has set up a heated tent where they can continue to use water to cut the pavers while they wait for the temperature to rise. Similarly, the cold weather also stopped the installation of the granite seat blocks and planter curbs. When the granite is cold it causes the mortar to freeze before it can set. The concrete slab work is also affected. The contractors are using thermal blankets to protect fresh concrete from the cold as it cures.
Where we wrap up 2014 will depend on the weather in the following weeks. If the weather warms, which it is supposed to over the weekend and into next week, the paving and masonry contractors will resume work on Bank Alley. The glass ceiling for the pavilion will be field measured and installed as soon as it is fabricated in 2015.
If temperatures stay above 30 degrees into December the plan is to finish pouring concrete in the center of the 200 block from Trolley Circle to Aurora Street. While this won’t affect pedestrians, finishing the concrete slab will allow the paving program to hit the ground running in the spring of 2015.
The area in front of Center Ithaca, better known as Trolley Circle, and the north sidewalk of the 200 block of East State St, from Chemung Canal Trust to Aurora Street, will be covered with asphalt to provide a surface that can be maintained through the winter. The asphalt will be in place by Friday because the plants close on Friday- 11/21, again due to the cold. The gathering area in front of Center Ithaca will be ready for the holiday season.