Bump in the Road

Or perhaps I should say, a rock in the driveway!

This isn't the rock that's the problem. This is the existing driveway asphalt, cut in section, with dirt underneath.

This isn't the rock that's the problem. This is the existing driveway asphalt, cut in section, with dirt underneath.

Last week, we came across a bump in the road at the Contemporary Cottage. While trenching down the driveway for our water and sewer lines, we came across an unforeseen situation. Let me explain the process of how we arrived here first.

Nice long shot of the trenching going on. It should actually look like a "Y". The water feeds into the house to the left, going thru the fire sprinkler system first, and the sewer comes out of the middle of the house to the right of the entry steps. 

Nice long shot of the trenching going on. It should actually look like a "Y". The water feeds into the house to the left, going thru the fire sprinkler system first, and the sewer comes out of the middle of the house to the right of the entry steps. 

We have an existing driveway down the left side of the property. Nothing fancy – it's just 2"-4" asphalt slab about 25' wide. We marked the trenching to saw-cut the asphalt, and then the asphalt was manually lifted and removed.

Our plumber then came in and dug the dirt out of the trench using a mini excavator, carefully maneuvering the required slope in the sewer line. As he came to the front of the property, he hit some hard ground. Super hard ground. Concrete. 

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He came across what looks to be 10"-12" of concrete, buried underneath our existing driveway.

The double slab is in front of the driveway gate. You see it pretty clearly in the picture above. It left us thinking about what it might have been. It's obviously not connected to the main house. Could it have been a garage? Perhaps a warehouse or barn? From the little I know about the property, it was indeed farmland in the marshlands. 

I found this picture particularly interesting as you can vaguely see the curb return. Remember that we're in a flood zone, but it may not have been known to be a flood zone when the original structure was built here over 100 years ago...

I found this picture particularly interesting as you can vaguely see the curb return. Remember that we're in a flood zone, but it may not have been known to be a flood zone when the original structure was built here over 100 years ago...

Due to the kind of slope we need in the sewer line connecting the new contemporary cottage, the unexpected concrete has to go. But with how thick that slab is, we needed to call in some heavy duty equipment. 

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I introduce to you a +50" diameter concrete saw. It's water cooled and cuts through everything in its path. It managed to cut completely thru the thickness of the secondary slab, and the concrete was drilled out the very next day. 

With the trench finally ready for completion of sewer and water connections, we look forward to next week. Appliances will be installed, and the radiant heat will be hooked up.