Return to Index for 2006


 
May 8-16, 2006
Greenway Villas Driveway Repaving Project


 

Introduction

 

For some years now, the deterioration in the driveways and parking areas at Greenway Villas has been accelerating. The new city garbage trucks began the damage years ago, and although these trucks are lighter and smaller now, the damage has continued. There are three or four areas where chunks of the concrete have loosened, been ground into stones and dust and then washed away by the rain.

Early in 2006, the Homeowners Association voted to repair the driveways at a cost of over $30,000. In March, the Board selected a contractor, Advanced Paving Company of Dallas. The project was finally scheduled for the second week in May, and actually began on May 8th. The pictures and movies on this page record the work that was done. Some of them are quite repetitious, but presumably you would not have come to this page in the album if you didn't have some interest in how the project proceeded. Even so, you may wish to look at only a sampling of the pictures. To look at any full-size image, please click on the thumbnail.

I've divided this page into days- the days on which the pictures were actually taken. This should give you a good timeline view of the project. There were also a couple of special situations that arose (the destruction of one of my front brick columns, for one) and I have put the pictures involved with these situations in separate sections towards the end of the main picture narrative. Should you tire of looking at the project's pictures and movies, you may always scroll to the top or bottom of the page and go backward or forward through the rest of the album.


 

The Project


May 8, 2006: Work Behind 7011-7031 Inwood

 


Advanced Paving is beginning to pull up the old concrete behind 7031 Inwood.



A workman is continuing the saw cutting for the first day at the front of 7011 Inwood. The saw cutting for what is already being removed was done yesterday, although no pictures were taken then.



The concrete that has been sawcut behind 7011 Inwood is being pulverized so that it can be dug up and removed.



The breakup and removal of the old concrete behind 7031 Inwood is continuing.



All of the old concrete in the strip running from the back of 7015 Inwood down the south driveway to 7031 Inwood has been removed, the area flattened and a sand base added. The new rebar has been laid and tied in the part of the prepared area that lies behind 7023-7031 Inwood.



The breakup and removal of the broken old concrete behind 7011-7015 Inwood is continuing.



This movie shows the progress of the preparation of the area behind 7011-7031 Inwood for the eventual pouring of new concrete.



 

 

May 9, 2006: Work Behind 7011-7031 and alongside 7011 Inwood

 


The entire area behind 7011-7031 Inwood has been excavated and prepared for the first concrete pour. At the moment, the rebar is just lying on the packed sand, and I wondered how it would be adding any strength to the concrete being at the very bottom of the six-inch pour, but there was more work to be done, I discovered.



This picture shows the preparation for the reconstruction of the curbing around the island behind 7011 Inwood. The old curb has been removed and the remaining dirt shaped properly for the new curb. The steel reinforcing for the new curb has been installed, and the entire corner area behind 7011 Inwood has been prepared and rebar laid.



The southern half of the area on the west side of 7011 Inwood has been excavated and the ground packed and prepared, and the rebar laid. The remainder of this part of the driveway is in the process of being cleared of old concrete.



This movie shows the area that has been prepared up to this point. From 7031 Inwood all the way back to the back of the driveway, and then around the corner and about halfway along the side of 7011 Inwood, the old concrete has been removed, the ground leveled and tamped and the rebar laid in place. The curb along the island behind 7011 Inwood has also been taken out and the framework for the new curb put in.



This very short movie records the progress of the project alongside 7011 Inwood.



The project has proceeded to the back of the property and halfway down the west side of 7011 Inwood by the morning of May 9th. The crew is still working near the front of 7011 Inwood, but most of them are now in the prepared area on the south side of the property getting ready for the arrival of the first load of new concrete.



The workman with the skiploader is continuing to break up the last portion of concrete up to the corner in front of 7011 Inwood. The plan is to do one pour of concrete in the entire prepared area that begins behind 7031 Inwood and continues to this point. There are some trucks ready to haul away the old concrete and excess earth.



The first load of new concrete arrives at Greenway Villas at just about 10am on May 9th. A large area on the south side of the property has been prepared, and the truck is backing up to get in position for the pour. The workmen have blocked off one lane of Inwood Road temporarily to let the truck in. The truck will be backing all the way to the rear of the property so the pour can be accomplished from back to front.



The truck has backed to the rear of the prepared area and is mixing the concrete getting ready for the pour. In the movie you will see a quick view of Rhonda, the representative from Advanced Paving, who is checking some of the rebar in the prepared area.



The first load of concrete is almost ready to be poured. Note in this picture how the rebar has been inserted in to short holes drilled into the sides of the existing concrete along the edges of the prepared area, and how the rebar has been raised about three inches above ground level by the use of some plastic "stands" that have been strategically placed to hold the entire latticework of rebar up. The rebar itself has been tied together with metal ties at most of the corners so that the E-W and N-S pieces of rebar stay in position as the pour proceeds.



The first pour of concrete for the Greenway Villas driveway repaving project. The pour is occurring at the back southwest corner of the prepared area. Note that the pour is to be limited via the use of the 2x4 to bound the pour diagonally. A later concrete pour will be done south to north alongside 7011 Inwood. (I should point out that the last minute or so of the movie is pretty boring and consists of watching the mixer on the concrete truck turning.)



May 9th at 11am, and the first concrete pour continues. Here you can see the process of raising the rebar with the plastic holders, and how the pour is proceeding from the back of the property to the front and from side to side in the pour area. You can also see the workmen tamping and spreading the concrete so it fills in around the rebar.



The first concrete pour continues.



The leveling process for the first pour of concrete begins. Here, the workmen use a 2x4 to level the concrete roughly, much as you might level a measuring spoon of flour with a flat knife. Prior to the leveling there is a lot of stomping around to make sure there are no cavities in the concrete under the rebar. Notice how the truck has moved forward. It didn't matter that it messed up the level dirt surface or that it forced the rebar down into the sand in spots because as the pour continued, the workmen were constantly pulling the rebar up and supporting it on the plastic stands. You can hear Rhonda and I conversing about the progress of the pour.



The rear portion of the first concrete pour behind 7011 Inwood. The concrete has been roughly leveled. It is mid-morning on May 9th.



The process of leveling the newly-poured concrete is being completed for the first pour behind 7015 and 7019 Inwood.



Workmen are preparing (raising) the rebar in preparation for the arrival of the second load of concrete. The pour will soon continue towards Inwood Road.



Detail showing the diagonal boundary of the rear end of the first concrete pour. Rhonda tells me that it is better, when going around curves, to break the pour somewhere along the curve itself. This, apparently, allows some of the sideways stresses to be distributed out to the boundary of the concrete. When the next pour occurs back here, of course, the wood will be removed.



The first pour of concrete for the project has been completed. I went to help my Mother over lunchtime, and it is now about one-thirty in the afternoon. The second concrete truck has come and gone, and the workmen have leveled and smoothed the concrete nicely, so the entire pour from the rear of the property to Inwood Road behind 7011-7031 Inwood has been finished.



A view of the first pour of concrete for the project, looking from the back of 7027 Inwood towards the back of the property.



A survey of all the work that has been completed from 7015 Inwood down to 7031 Inwood. The smoothing process is still ongoing behind 7011 Inwood.



Now that the concrete pour in the south driveway is completed, the pouring process on the west side of 7011 Inwood can begin. The broken concrete that had been piled in the front of 7011 Inwood has been removed so that the concrete truck can back in from the north.



Not a particularly good movie. There is not much going on here except to spend a minute or so watching the concrete truck mixing its contents and getting read to pour it on the west side of 7011 Inwood.



The concrete for the reconstruction of the curbing around the island behind 7011 Inwood is being poured, and the workmen are beginning to form the curb by hand.



The concrete pour on the south side of the property is complete, and barricades have been put up at the southern Inwood Road entrance.



The concrete pour in the southwest corner behind 7011 Inwood has been completed. The concrete in this area has been smoothed and brushed. The curbing behind 7011 Inwood has been reconstructed as well.



The concrete has been poured and smoothed about halfway alongside 7011 Inwood, and the workmen have prepared the rest of the day's work, which will take the new concrete up to the front of 7011 Inwood. The old concrete is gone, the ground sanded and tamped, and the rebar has been laid in place. The workmen are waiting for another concrete truck.



The concrete for the last section of today's work- the section from midway alongside 7011 Inwood to the front of 7011 Inwood- is being poured.



 

 

May 16, 2006: Work Behind 7035-7055 and alongside 7055 Inwood

 

One week after completing the first half of the project, the Advanced Paving crew returned to finish the job in a second phase. First, they removed the barricades from the first section, and we began driving on it right away (although we tried to keep the garbage trucks off of it a while longer).

In this second half of the project, which was a long day, the crew began taking up the old concrete behind 7035-7055 Inwood, taking out the damaged curbing along the island behind 7055 Inwood, taking out the old concrete from the driveway alongside 7055 Inwood and taking out the old concrete from a couple of small sections in the northernmost front entrance and in the middle of the parking apron in front.

Then, as they had done the week prior, they began a "rolling" process whereby they removed the broken concrete, prepared the base, laid the rebar and poured new concrete. The pictures and movies below were all taken on this second full day. There are not so many pictures this time; much of what the crew was doing was very repetitious, so I have just tried to record, for the most part, the milestones in this phase of the project.


The first section of the second phase of the project, a large section of the driveway that runs from behind 7035 Inwood to behind 7047 Inwood, has been excavated and the old concrete removed. The base was prepared, the rebar laid, the concrete poured and, as you can see here, the smoothing process begun.



A section of new concrete behind 7051 Inwood has been smoothed, and the process is continuing to the south along the back of the property. Sections to the north have been prepared for new concrete.



A survey of the work that has been done up to this point behind 7035-7055 Inwood.



This movie shows the completed patched behind 7047-7051 Inwood, the smoothing process behind 7043-7047 Inwood and the continuing concrete pouring process behind 7035-7039 Inwood.



The area behind 7035-7039 Inwood has been excavated and prepared, and the rebar has been laid behind 7039 Inwood. The concrete is being poured behind 7039 Inwood.



A view of the apron area behind 7035-7039 Inwood looking down to the intersection in front of 7011 Inwood and the completed concrete there.



One of the concrete trucks has arrived and is preparing to pour a load of concrete into the excavated area behind 7035-7039 Inwood. Notice the rebar has already been tied together and will fit into the area where the truck is standing. The workmen had discovered that the base soil here was a bit softer than on the south side of the property, and did not want the truck to press the rebar into it, so they laid the rebar in the excavated area, tied it together and then took it out again until the truck can be sitting on the concrete currently in front of it.



The smoothing process behind 7047 Inwood.



The excavated, prepared area behind 7055 Inwood. You can see here how the rebar for the new section is actually inserted into drilled holes in an existing section. This was done whenever possible to further stabilize the new concrete.



Here is a view of the major curb-rebuilding piece done in our project. The island behind 7011 Inwood had about six feet of curb replaced, but here, behind 7055 Inwood, we had a different problem. The city garbage trucks could not, apparently, negotiate the tight turn here, and consistently ran over about five feet of curbing, eventually tearing it down. We decided to pull the island in about a foot, and narrow the island somewhat so that the garbage trucks could make the turn without running over the curb. I should note here that, when we watched the garbage trucks after the project was completed, we found that the trucks could indeed make the turn without running over the curb, but only if the residents of 7051 and 7055 Inwood put their trash cans by the island just to the south of this one, so that the truck would have time to move over to "hug" the fence before making the turn. Even then, the garbage truck driver has to take his time, something that I have noticed since he does not always do. But we did the best we could do.



Here is the work continuing behind the 7035-7055 Inwood.



Workmen behind the Greenway Villas middle building working on various stages of the preparation, smoothing and pouring process.



The necessary areas on the north side of 7055 Inwood have been excavated and the rebar has been laid. We might have liked to go ahead and do the entire width of the driveway here, but we tried to keep costs to a minimum while doing what was necessary.



Looking from the front of 7055 Inwood to the back, here are the prepared areas in this section. I noticed that the curbing just at the right front of this section did not have the right amount of concrete under it, but since it never took any wear, there was no particular problem. The workmen, however, were asked to push some new concrete under that section of curb to stabilize it further.



There were some miscellaneous sections in front of the property that we included in the project. You can see two of them here. One is the diagonal section that was torn up when a sprinkler pipe was laid across the northernmost driveway; this section had begun to crack and decompose. Another, similar section (see the next picture), crossed from 7063 Inwood to the front of 7055 Inwood; I am not sure why this strip had been torn up years ago. But both of them were included in our project.



Here is the second strip that crosses from 7063 Inwood to the front of 7055 Inwood that we are replacing.



The third section at the front of the property that we wanted to replace was a section about five feet square in front of 7047 Inwood. For some reason, this particular section had caved in somewhat and was coming apart. I did not watch the excavation of this section, so I don't know if it was just a bad pour job originally or what.



The final section behind 7035 Inwood has been poured, as well as the section that spans the driveway intersection in front of 7011 Inwood. There is still some debris remaining to be taken away. This time, the workmen were careful to do so without messing up the concretee that had just been poured.



All the concrete work behind 7035-7051 is finished, and barricades are up to prevent anyone from driving on it.



The concrete for the turn behind 7055 Inwood is being poured, and they are getting ready to rebuild the curb.



The small square patch in front of 7047 Inwood has been prepared and the rebar has been laid inside it. It is ready for concrete.



The process of pouring the concrete in the driveway alongside 7055 Inwood continues.



The process of placing the rebar and pouring the concrete alongside 7055 Inwood.



The process pouring concrete alongside 7055 Inwood.


Those were all the pictures I took of the concrete project at Greenway Villas. The section below deals with one of the accidents that Advanced Paving had, and how it was dealt with.


 

Destruction of the Brick Column in Front of 7011 Inwood


The Accident

 

Just before noon on May 9th, I left the workmen to their job and went to help my Mother at lunch at the Bentley Manor. When I returned, about one-thirty, I found that the corner brick column in front of my own unit, 7011 Inwood, had been knocked down. I asked the workmen what had happened, and what I understood from their halting explanation was that a large piece of old concrete had fallen out of the skip loader, struck the column an toppled it.

This explanation did not see quite satisfactory for two reasons. First, no chunk of concrete of the size they were removing seemed as if it would weigh enough to topple the column even if it fell directly on it. Second, when I returned to see the damage, the broken bricks and the top part of the column were lying in the bushes where they fell, but there was no chunk of concrete there; had the chunk been large enough to damage the column, it would have been too large for even many of the workmen to pick up and remove.

Here are the pictures of the damaged column:


The corner column at the front of 7011 Inwood has been broken in half. The top of the column is lying in the bushes, and most of the middle bricks in the column have been broken. The skiploader is in the background.



Here you can see the broken column looking from the inside of the front patio, and you can see the broken-off top of the column lying outside the wrought-iron fence in the bushes. Notice that there is no large chunk of concrete visible.



Again, you can see the broken column, but what is important in this picture is that there is a pile of the concrete pieces of the general size that were being pulled up out in the driveway. Imagining even the largest of the pieces you can see falling against the column does not seem to be enough force to break the column as it was actually broken.



Here is a final picture of the destroyed column. The way the bricks are broken, and the way the top of the column is lying upside down in the bushes led me to conclude that the explanation I had gotten was not right. Had a piece of concrete fallen against the column from the north side, then, even if the top of the column had broken off, it would have fallen on the north side of the column- much as a tree falls towards the same side as the axe has been used to chip out a wedge.


My own conclusion was that the skiploader itself must have hit the column, and this conclusion was confirmed the next day when my neighbor, Barry Wood, told me that he had been watching the work when the operator of the skiploader, who had been picking up concrete pieces in the driveway alongside 7011 (by moving forward to the south in that driveway, filling the skip and then backing up to the driveway intersection to dump the concrete in a truck that was waiting in front of 7011 Inwood) did not back up far enough before swinging the skiploader to the his left to load the dump truck. The skip, full of concrete, hit the column from the top, knocking it off and pushing it in the direction that the skip was moving- towards the front of 7011 rather than to the side.

I called Rhonda Ankilewitz, our contact at Advanced Paving, told her what had happened, and arranged for her to come out and see the damage. She also indicated to me that the owner of the company would also come out to inspect the damage as soon as possible.


Advanced Paving Repairs the Column

 

The very next day, both Rhonda and the owner of Advanced Paving came out to look at the column that had been knocked down the day before. Rhonda was very sympathetic, and of course told me that Advanced Paving would repair the damage. Shortly after she was there, the owner stopped by to look at the column.

He, too, was apologetic and told me to get an estimate for repairing the damage, which I did immediately by calling The Brick Doctor, a firm that had done work for me before. They came out later that day, took a look at the damage, and gave me a bid of $975 to perform the repairs. I passed this information on to Rhonda, and she passed it to her boss. He came back the next day and told me that he could have some brickmasons on his own staff perform the repair for a good deal less. I told him that I didn't much care WHO did the repair, so long as the repaired column looked the way it had before the damage. He guaranteed me that the repair would be done to my satisfaction.

Two days later, on May 12th, the workers arrived to repair the column. I was concerned to find that a couple of them were some of the same workers who had been laying concrete, but the head person, who spoke some English, told me they'd be able to do the repair. I gave them access to all the bricks that I'd picked up the day before, and they set to work.

The first thing they did was to clean the column down to the base that had not been disturbed and then use the old bricks to continue the column upwards. I had assumed that they would repair the center portion and then put the old top, which was still in one piece, back on top of the repair. At least this was my understanding. I had to be gone from eleven to about two-thirty. When I came back, I saw the work they had done so far, and was even more concerned that the mortar didn't match colorwise, and that the bricks were not as close together as in the other columns. I called Rhonda to express my concerns, but she advised me just to let them finish- and then I could give or withhold my approval of the repairs. So that is what I did.

Take a look at the repaired column. It is plain to see that the repair was, to put it bluntly, botched. First of all, the workmen realized that so many bricks had been broken in the original accident that there were not enough whole bricks to rebuild the column to match the others next to it. So, their solution was to increase the space between bricks and between layers. The repaired column had 22 layers of brick, while the undamaged columns had 24 layers. Next, the "stepping" of the top layers of brick was not done to match the other columns. Finally, the color of the mortar was such that it was extremely obvious that a patch job had been done. (Actually, I found out later that it wasn't mortar at all; the workmen had used Portland Cement instead!)

Here are some additional views of the repair job. In each set of two pictures, I have tried to match a picture of the repaired column with a corresponding picture of an undamaged one- using approximately the same lighting and orientation:

"Repaired" Column Existing Column


 

"Repaired" Column Existing Column


 

"Repaired" Column Existing Column

 

I think it is pretty obvious that the repair was not done properly. I called Rhonda the first thing the next morning, and she came out yet again to look at the column, agreeing with me that it didn't look as if the repair had been done right. I talked to the owner on the phone, and I agreed to allow his workers to try to darken the cement to see if that would make the repair less obvious, although I told him I was skeptical and that if I didn't like the repair, it would be done over, by a company of my choosing, and that Greenway Villas would deduct the cost of the repair from Advanced Paving's total bill.


 

My Brick Column Gets Fixed

 


Advanced Paving finished the actual concrete project, and we paid them most of what we owed, withholding enough to cover the repair to my column and to our fence, which was also damaged. The paving people were out another time to try to darken the cement they'd used so the column looked less like red velvet cake with white icing, but even that didn't do any good. I contacted a couple of brickmasons and finally found one who guaranteed to not only repair the column so that it would be indistinguishable from the undamaged ones, but also to find and match exactly the bricks that had been broken. The estimate turned out to be higher than my first one, since they also had to take down the repaired column. But finally, the project got underway on September 6th.

I decided to record the progress of the project, and took a first picture when the column had been taken down to the base. I also took a movie of the brickmason crew getting ready for the rebuilding process, and you can watch that movie with the player at right. I also took a picture later in the day when the main part of the column had been rebuilt and the crew was ready to top out the column.


A few hours later, the column was finished. You can see the end result at the left- or almost the end result. The last step was to clean the brick of excess mortar and cement, and that's what the fellow with the wire brush is about to do. I don't have a picture of the final, finished column, but I was very pleased with the work that was done and, even though the brick seemed a bit lighter still after the brushing process, just in the past month it has weathered significantly and now it is not apparent that the column was ever damaged. Even when I have pointed it out to people, they can't see the difference between the damaged and undamaged columns. So that project is done, and with its completion, the saga of the Greenway Villas Driveway Repair Project ends.


 


Return to Index for 2006