Wet weather, city regulations causing construction delays
The start of major excavation of the ILC construction project was delayed because of weekend weather, and more storms this week may push the project back even further.
According to Melissa Dryden, project coordinator for Facilities Design and Construction, rules involving construction debris in relation to the storms have interrupted the excavation of the Integrated Learning Center.
Because of regulations laid out by the City of Tucson and the University of Arizona, Hydro Metrics - the company hired to excavate the UA Mall - must minimize the spilled dirt when its trucks are exiting the campus.
Dryden said that the recent rainstorms would have created a large amount of mud on city streets if excavation had progressed as scheduled.
"They're trying not to make messes of the streets, especially with the mud caused by the rain," Dryden said. "They (Hydro Metrics) hope to continue soon."
Dryden said excavation should continue tonight if weather permits it.
Further compounding the problem are the large palm trees that line the Mall area.
Dryden said workers must find a new home for 12 trees from the Mall between the Modern Languages building and Bear Down Gym.
Some of the trees will be planted permanently on the south side of the Administration building. The others will be temporarily kept within the fences of the site. Upon completion of the ILC, they will be replanted in their original locations.
She added that Hydro Metrics has changed its excavation strategy in attempts to speed up construction,.
"Originally, they were digging eight feet down all the way across the site," Dryden said. "Now they're digging deeper portions in certain areas not affected by the trees."
As workers progress, they will build large concrete walls that will stabilize the exterior wall of the 85,944 cubic-foot hole. This will allow for further excavation until the site reaches the expected depth.
While site work will continue during the day, major excavation will still be limited to the hours of 7 p.m. to 5 a.m.