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Signs of exhaustion after a hard day’s work

April 8, 2015

Unlike horses, construction site signs and stanchions do not sleep standing up.

Two nights ago at about 10:30 p.m. I found myself crossing Hemlock Street at the intersection with the alley between 10th and 11th Avenue and. well, it’s hard to tip toe when you’re riding a bike but I really tried to be quiet about it.

After hours I feel like I’m stepping (or rolling) through a camp site as much as a construction site. Everywhere objects and machinery sit and lay at rest, as though they simply fell asleep where they stood when the whistle sounded at the end of the work day.

The five blocks of Hemlock Street between 10th and 15th Avenue are stacked, blocked and littered with the evidence of the Hemlock Street rehabilitation project which is modernizing the underground water distribution and sewer systems between 4th and 15th Avenue.


Three more strange forms of plumbing used in the Hemlock Street rehabilitation.

There are about eight more weeks of work scheduled and although city crews are fast approaching the southern end of the project at 15th Avenue, it turns out that they started on March 9 at 10th Avenue, meaning that there are still four blocks of Hemlock on the north side of West Broadway to dig up.

All the work is being done in the southbound lanes of Hemlock and so far as I can tell, none of it has, or should, do anything worse than slightly reduce the flow of northbound traffic from Hemlock onto the Granville Street bridge.

During the day, the city work site looks like a well-oiled machine; at night, not so much.

During the day the work site seems like a well-oiled machine; at night, not so much.

A commenter clarified for me that my first post on the over-sized plumbing work showed concrete culverts suitable for sewage rather than drinking water.

A City of Vancouver Waterworks Operations person on the site showed me some of the pipe being installed specifically for the distribution of potable water. It is made out of ductile iron, which is an advanced form of cast iron with high strength and corrosion resistance, and lined with cement mortar. Pipes of this kind are intended to have a working life of well over a century. Click the images to enlarge them.

A cement-lined, ductile iron pipe for water distribution.

A cement-lined, ductile iron pipe for water distribution.

From → Fairview

  1. Wonderful post

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