Landscape Contractor / Design Build Maintain

MAR 2018

LC/DBM provides landscape contractors with Educational, Imaginative and Practical information about their business, their employees, their machines and their projects.

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Right The crew started at the lake level and worked their way back up while the site was full of other construction activities and only one way in and no easy way to get equipment down to the lakeshore. After the site was excavated, a new timber wall was constructed along the shorefront with concrete foun- dations to support an articulating dock system. Below On top of drainage fabric, 8" of clean #2 crushed stone was used for the base. A rammer, or "jumping jack," and hand tampers compacted the stone. The 800-pound steps were set with the help of a specialized block clamp attached to the arm of a mini excavator. Notice the two-inch "key" on the front bottom edge of the step being installed (inset). This was done at the quarry so each step would overhang the next one and lock in. After a stone was set, the area behind it was readied for the next one by more excavation and the installation of drainage fabric and crushed stone. A 4' level was used to check the accuracy as the team moved up the incline. Right After the steps were finished, the rest of the site was graded and top dressed, and sod and native shoreline plantings were installed. Other advice from DeFranco include double checking that all pipes and utility conduits that will run under the steps are exactly where they need to be before setting the steps; using skid steers or mini-skid steers to maneuver heavy stones in areas too tight for a mini-excavator. And in places that are even tighter, metal pipes can be used as rollers to move the stones, and metal bars can be used as levers to help place them. March 2018 29 came with a special feature – a two-inch "key" removed at the quarry on the front bottom edge so they would overhang the previous step and lock in. "It was the first time I've ever seen anything that intricate but it made putting those steps in very easy" says DeFranco. "They were very expensive but they were a very nice set of steps." A specialized block clamp was mounted to the arm of a mini-excavator to hoist and help maneuver the steps, which were delivered directly from the quarry. "There was enough bluestone in the project to ship direct - ly, which is pretty unusual," DeFranco states. "It usually goes to our local stone distributor and they will either deliver to us or if it is a small enough load, we will go pick it from them." After each step was set, the ground behind it was excavat - ed more, drainage fabric and crushed stone were put down, and another step was installed.

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