The Slab!

Yes, we have mentioned dates in this blog, predictions of when things would happen – but this time it is actually happening as we speak! By 6:15 am this morning people started arriving at the site; by 7:30 the big pump truck was in place, and at around 8 am the first concrete delivery was made.

By noon today, the concrete pouring will be done, but the work will only be started. As it is poured, the workers lift up the wire mesh to make sure that the aggregate gets below the reinforcing material. They smooth it out and get it level and at the correct height (as measured by a laser). Because it was less than freezing this morning when the first several trucks unloaded, the concrete was mixed with hot water and some special plasticizers to make it cure better in cold weather. As the morning has warmed up, the specific recipe back at the concrete plant is adjusted to account for the temperature.

Once it is all poured, and leveled, and has had some time to harden, a machine that is kind of the equivalent to a Zamboni machine for concrete is deployed to smooth it and practically polish it. The blades of this machine are rotating at a high speed as it floats (seemingly) above the concrete slab, and it leaves in its wake a smooth surface.

This whole process will not be finished until nearly dark tonight. At that point, the crew will evaluate the degree of curing that has happened, and may decide to cover the slab with blankets. (That’s a whole lot of blankets!) So, Sunday morning you might see the concrete, or it might all be covered.