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The process begins with a machine fitted with a forklift-type attachment. The driver picks up the section of sidewalk to be replaced and carries it off to a waiting dump truck. A crew smooths out the exposed surface, which in our case looked like a mixture of sand and gravel. They set up a form on each side, consisting of 2X4 lumber held in place by stakes driven into the ground. (Inevitably, they exposed the surveyor stake marking our lot line, but did not disturb it.) After the setup of the form, the crew departed to work on a neighbor's section of sidewalk, after which they moved on to yet another neighbor, working methodically through the neighborhood. At some point the cement truck showed up at our house and they poured the cement. The crew left for a brief period to do the next pour, and returned to ours to do the finishing.
The crews were obviously very experienced, and very efficient. I was told by the man who I worked with to get the quote that the owner of the business worked along with his crews. Despite working hard, they all seemed to be in relatively good spirits. They were polite when I pestered them with questions.
When they first arrived I was home and heard them so I went outside to see what was going on. They were looking at a section of the sidewalk that I had repaired myself, following the instructions of the City inspector who was kind enough to pay a visit to look at the sidewalk and explain how it could be repaired without replacing the entire square. The crew told me that those squares were on the list to be replaced. I explained that I had done it myself, and they agreed that it looked good to them. So they agreed to leave that part alone, and worked only on the section that needed to be replaced. It turned out that I had failed to tell the City inspector that I had completed the repairs so that they could inspect it and decide whether or not my repairs were adequate. I really appreciated the way the crew understood what happened and didn't insist on following the City's instructions to the letter. A little later that morning when the inspectors stopped by I talked to them and they gave me a lecture about failing to call them to inspect my work. I was grateful that they did not insist on having Conventional replace the squares I had worked on myself -- it would have cost me another $200. As it was, I used half a bag of cement, which cost $4.
(By the way, the inspector told me to use a mixture of portland cement and sand -- no gravel aggregate -- and mix only enough water so that the resulting mixture would have a fairly stiff consistency with a low or slow slump. In other words, if you were to put the mixture in an empty tin can and then dump it out, it would roughly retain its shape, rather than run out to form a pool. And I put some heavy gravel underneath the sidewalk -- the specifications are different for sections of sidewalk traversed by vehicles entering a driveway -- those sections need to be able to support the extra weight of a vehicle.)
One year later the cement they poured has held up very well.
I was very impressed with
The crew arrived on time and did a beautiful careful job "marrying" the deck with the new concrete walkway. They were friendly and very approachable when we had questions. The walkways look wonderful and we would do business with Menarek again!
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