Erecting the Wallach Street Crane Doesn’t Go Too Well
Saturday was the day that Grunley was to erect their construction crane for the L2 Development at 14th and Wallach. Residents had previously written Councilman Jim Graham’s office asking whether the street could support the crane (in addition to the traffic problems) and suggested that 14th Street instead be used. After all, it’s already demonstrated it can support and handle the weight and size of such a crane…twice.
But no, apparently the order had been handed down by DDOT – whenever the public had any input into that is a question – and so Saturday Wallach was shut down, cars were towed and in came the trucks.
Little problem. The street started to crack.
“We’re sinking here,” one of the construction engineers told me after the street full of trucks, crane parts at 12.5 ton weights bugged out. He went on:
“We really don’t know what’s down there. It’s soft. It could be bad backfill, we just don’t know.”
So what was the next step? “We don’t know. Maybe we build a ramp from Wallach to the pit so we can build it. We just don’t know what’s under there.”
Hearing that – twice – from one of the crane engineers is not encouraging. In addition to the damage to several people’s houses, including this from a house on Wallach facing 13th Street. Just how a construction truck ended up doing this on 13th Street is, again, another mystery.
So once more we ask: why not set the crane on 14th Street – where we already know it can be supported? And beyond that, just how much is there that we just don’t know about under our feet? We’ve written several times before here of neighbors who dug their basement’s down just a little too much, and now had constant flooding problems. The water table is obviously very high here…if a little basement floods, is it any surprise so many developers are asking for such large variances to not dig down for the required amount of parking?