i just arrived in mobile to drop my kids off with my in-laws for mardi gras weekend. this way the boys get to participate within some parades in mobile (a much more family friendly atmosphere than new orleans) and pamela and i get a weekend alone. about twenty minutes ago my dad just finished telling me the latest news of saraland, alabama. i don’t won’t to steal my dad’s thunder but i have to tell you this story. my dad will blog about this later, probably tomorrow and do a better job of it with pictures and such.
presently the state of alabama is working on expanding highway 158 from two lanes to four (a much needed improvement by the area of the university of mobile). as a part of the project they were using an excavator to clean out a swampy area beside the road. it’s really rained alot around here and apparently no one consider the possibility of the land being too damp for the weight of the excavator. thus when it went down to the swampy area one side began to sink and the whole machine tilted over on it’s side. this would usually be bad but not a case for panic because you could always come back when the land was drier and pull the machine back up. the problem here was that ground was VERY wet and the excavator began to submerge into the soil. pulling the excavator right side up is one thing but pulling it completely out of the ground is something completely different.
not wanting to lose the $200,000 machine the city sent another excavator down near the first in an attempt to pull it upright and away form danger. this would have been a brilliant idea if it were not for the fact that the second excavator began to sink submerge too. it sank straight down, tracks first, fast and deep. in the past three days the first excavator has sunk to the point that all you can see of it is the track on the high side and the second one has sunk straight down to the point that only the excavating arm is visible. thus the city now has two $200,000 machine underground.
the city has been quoted the price of $65,000 a piece to have an outside contractor with a super-sized crane come in and lift the machines out of the ground. that wouldn’t even include the cost of the rebuilding the engines which have now be engulfed and no doubt in-filled with mud. someone else has come in and said they would pay $20,000 to the city for each vehicle and then remove them. it will be interesting to see what the city thinks is cheaper.
my dad’s blog will surely have a better story concerning this and pictures of the events.