September 1, 2007: A Weekend at Fred's House
August 12, 2007: The Mathis-Nabors Birthday Bash
Return to Index for 2007

August 21-29, 2007
A Trip to Fort Lauderdale



Rebuilding the Riverview Gardens Dock

I was surprised on Wednesday morning when I went down to the river to take a look at some boats going buy. I found that the old docks had been removed and a new dock was being built. As of this morning, not only had the old dock been removed, but the pilings for the new one had been sunk into the riverbed and the main support members for the dock were being built. The workmen were measuring on each of the pilings for the height of the supports that would jut out from the concrete retaining wall and be secured to the pilings, and you can see them doing that process here.

Once those supports were in place, then they could put up the outside support beams, running them from piling to piling. I presume that the final step would be to add the top surface of the dock, which will be short boards running perpendicular to the river. I watched them work for a while, but it seemed it was going to be repetitive for a while so I went back to the condo to do other stuff.

A few days later, I went down to the dock again to see what they were doing, as there was a big cement truck in the parking lot. I found them pouring concrete underwater! What they were doing was rebuilding the shelf of concrete that is the retaining wall. It is just underwater and extends down to the river bottom. In this picture, you can see one of the crew in the water, standing on the river bottom right next to the concrete shelf. They have built a form under the water and are filling the space between the form and the bank with concrete. Here, you can see the same crewman manipulating the hose coming from the concrete truck to fill in the concrete. I was pretty amazed that pouring concrete underwater was even possible, but the workers told me there were special additives in the concrete mix that reacted with the water to cause the concrete to set even without drying out. I was always under the impression that it was the drying process that caused the concrete to set up, but, apparently, this isn't always true.

I thought you might be interested to watch the movie I made of part of the dock reconstruction; you can do so with the player at left.


The Changing Fort Lauderdale Beachfront (August 23rd)

On Thursday morning, I went for another bike ride over to the beach and then north to Lauderdale-by-the-Sea, a 15-mile trip. As I have been doing on at least one of these rides each week I am here, I have been recording the progress of some of the new construction projects on the beach.

Right next to Beach Place, Hilton has put in a new hotel/condo/timeshare building. It is the building with the distinctive wavy front that you have probably seen before in pictures taken here at the beach. During my last few trips down, you have seen some pictures of the construction on the beach across from the hotel of an elevator shaft for a new overhead beach walkway. On these previous trips, just the beach elevator structure and the side of the building where the walkway will rest had been under construction. But now, on this trip, the new overhead walkway is in place and they have started to attach the side walls to it. They have also pretty much finished the elevator housing, although it is still all blocked off. It is beginning to look quite nice.

The second project I have been tracking is the construction of the new "W" Fort Lauderdale- a hotel/condo building that is going up on an entire block just north of the Sheraton Yankee Trader.

The third project is the new Trump Fort Lauderdale, which I think is going to be entirely condominiums. I don't think Trump has assigned one of his "apprentices" to oversee this particular project, which is taking up most of a block just north of the W Fort Lauderdale.

From month to month, it sometimes doesn't seem as if there has been much progress on either building, but when you compare the pictures, you can see that there is. When both project are completed, I will probably gather together all the pictures I took of each one and put them on the same album page to make the progress more evident.


An Afternoon Bike Ride (August 27th)

Today, the weather is really great, although not, so I slathered on the sunscreen and went for a bike ride. I followed the usual route over to the beach and then headed twelve miles north to Hillsboro Inlet, which is north of Pompano Beach. Fred and I have been biking up here for a long time, but in the last year the city of Pompano Beach has redeveloped the area right by the inlet with a very nice new park and boat docks. It is now a very pleasant destination and, conveniently, exactly a 25-mile round-trip ride from my condo.


Total Lunar Eclipse (August 28th)

Perhaps I was just lucky (or maybe unfortunate) that I heard in the evening of the 27th that there would be a total eclipse of the moon the next morning- one that would be visible from Fort Lauderdale. The eclipse was to begin at 4am and continue to totality around 5, so I made it a point to set my alarm so I could be up and down at the dock to watch.

It was difficult to get good pictures of the event, so I took a great number of them, hoping that some of them would turn out. Three of them did and, fortunately, they were of the beginning, the midpoint and the conclusion of the eclipse. I have put thumbnails for these three pictures below, and you can see the full-size pictures by clicking on those thumbnails. Also, you can watch a movie that I made of the period of totality using the player at left.


My Last Day in Fort Lauderdale (August 29th)

Well, another visit has come to an end, and I have to be off to the airport late this afternoon. Today, though, there seems to be a lot of river traffic today, and I have enjoyed watching it. The work boat that you saw in the previous picture was actually being towed down river, and, due to its size, forced other traffic out of the way, as you can see in the movie I made of the river traffic. Use the player at right to watch it.

My return to Dallas was pretty average, although we were a few minutes late because of weather.

September 1, 2007: A Weekend at Fred's House
August 12, 2007: The Mathis-Nabors Birthday Bash
Return to Index for 2007