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Neighborhood Update: November 2013 

Dear Neighbor,

As you may be aware, we have completed the initial phase of construction (i.e., deep foundation work) and are in the process of performing ground excavation and concrete foundation work for the new Ability Institute of RIC, located at 355 East Erie Street.

Although you will certainly see a lot of work going on, hopefully, you will notice that the noise related to this work is quite different. You will not experience the drilling sounds and vibrations associated with installing caissons and earth retention sheeting. However, you can expect to hear typical construction noises such as trucks, excavation equipment, small pumps, generators, concrete prep work and general conversation.

This phase of work consists primarily of removing dirt from the site, and pouring the concrete which will become the foundation of the building.  As a result, you will see an increase in truck traffic during this phase of work.  Specifically, at the beginning of each day, dump trucks will arrive to haul dirt away from the site and concrete trucks will bring ready mix to the site.

We are still committed to radioing trucks in as they are needed, in order to mitigate the number of trucks on the neighborhood streets. We will continue to reinforce this message to the trucking companies as well as work with the drivers on issues as they arise. The ground excavation and foundation work will continue from now until the end of the year. 

Typically, construction work hours will be from 8:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. (although some days work may extend to 8:00 p.m.), Monday through Saturday. You may notice some activity on the site outside of these hours and days, including Sundays. Usually, this work will be related to activities such as setup, deliveries, refuse removal, or necessary equipment repairs.  There will also be certain instances where critical events will need to occur on a Sunday; for instance, this past weekend with the construction of the crane. Other events may include crane and hoist jumps, post tensioning of cables in the garage, water pumping, weather protection and fireproofing, as well as snow and rain removal. During these occasions, the number of people on the site will typically be small crews of less than 25 and usually closer to 10 people. 

Also, a number of residents have asked about security on the premises; Currently, the site is fully locked at the end of each day. As an additional safety measure, on-site, off-hours security will be in place before the end of this year. Once we have begun mass excavation, there will be a security guard on site during all non-working hours on weekdays, as well as 24 hours per day on the weekends.

This security will be in place until the building is complete, and RIC’s in-house security takes over, which is anticipated to occur in 2016. These off-hours guards are employed by a private security firm contracted by RIC. Moreover, the security are not part of the construction team, and will not be performing any construction work while on site. 

We wanted to let you know about certain dates and activities that will be occurring before the end of the year: 

  • The installation of our second – and final – tower crane has been re-scheduled for the weekend of December 13, weather permitting. The installation of this crane will be similar to the project completed last weekend, except that all of the work will be done on site and there will be no lane closures necessary. However, Sunday work will be required beginning at 8:00 a.m. and ending by 8:00 p.m.
  • We are planning the to pour the concrete for our core mat slab tentatively on Monday, November 25, pending construction progress and weather. This is the largest concrete placement operation on our site, requiring 1600 yards of concrete to be poured uninterrupted. As a result, we reached out to the City of Chicago Department of Buildings to coordinate this project in a way which we hope will mitigate residential impacts as much as possible. The mobilization and setup for this project will begin at 6:00 a.m.; this includes equipment arrival and setup, refueling, material deliveries, worker arrivals, and general preparation for the day’s activities. The concrete pour is scheduled to begin at 7:00 a.m. and is expected to be completed between 8:00 p.m. and 10:00 p.m. Throughout the day you will see a number of concrete trucks traveling to and from our site and the noise associated with this work should be low to moderate. 

We hope that this update regarding the next two months of anticipated work will be helpful to you. We will continue to send alerts regarding specific work timelines and activities as they are firmed up. We appreciate your feedback and questions.

As always, if you have any additional questions or concerns related to the construction of the Ability Institute of RIC, please do not hesitate to contact me at mhoffmann@ric.org or 312-238-7522.

Thank You,

Melissa Hoffmann
RIC Community Relations Liaison