Sunday, May 15, 2016

Setting concrete for the REC

The third phase of the Museum's campus is the Railway Education Center, and construction has been underway since March.  The new center will include public restrooms, a classroom, and an archival vault for the Museum's collection of small objects, photographs, published works, maps, drawings, and more.

General contractor Kirtley-Cole and Associates of Everett have been proceeding at a rapid pace.  Since completing the GeoPier foundation supports just before GiveBig event earlier this month, concrete foundation work has been progressing. 

Concrete pours require careful planning.  Forms are constructed to the shapes and sizes stipulated on the drawings.  Reinforcing steel is wired together inside the forms.  A concrete pumper under the control of a skilled operator delivers concrete into the forms. 

A concrete worker vibrates the freshly-poured concrete to remove any air pockets, and ensure uniformity throughout.  After the concrete cures for a day or so, the forms are removed, which reveals the finished casting. 

The steel rebar extends out the top or side of the pour so that it can interlock with the next pour, the grade beams and interior floor.  The interior of the stem wall receives foam insulation to help keep the floor warm in the winter. And speaking of floor, the next report on construction progress should detail the new concrete floor.

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