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The green pickup truck with the yellow logo—Fred M. Luth – Family Owned Contractors Since 1920—parked in our neighborhood, the harbinger of the long awaited replacement of our storm sewer. For a month, preparations had been underway: Surveyor crews with hard hats had spray-painted red and orange numbers on our streets, utilities had flagged underground lines, and teams of workers drilled holes in the street, spray-painted another set of measurements, before filling the holes with asphalt.

Next came flatbed trucks delivering greenish plastic pipes stacked, pyramid-style, along sides of the streets, then, parts of four concrete sewers along the sidewalks, then, a huge rectangular steel frame upon the street. Next, dump trucks deposited a mountain of rocks on an adjoining street. The site seemed ready.

Last Monday, the green pickup truck with the yellow logo returned. It was time.  Licensed engineers and drain layers began operating the CAT backhoe and the crawler crane, and with them, ripping, pounding, crunching, and rasping noises: Always an issue with me, I wondered how I would manage, being housebound.

The drilling began next to my house. More significant than the noise, however, was the crawling crane slicing foot-length concrete like a pasta cutter, doughy ribbons. After the drill bit had been changed for the bucket, the crawling crane scooped up the broken concrete and dirt into waiting dump trucks and hauled them away.  

I could go on and on about the week’s experience, ending with the installation of one of the storm sewers. Yes, the noise was significant, but the camaraderie, the laughter, the expertise of the crew absorbed me more. Many tense moments, repetition of measurements, and reworking adhesive materials evidenced critical teamwork, in hold-your-breath procedures.

The crew will return, weather permitting, but their necessary noise will be further down the street. As an aside, I did pray for their protection.

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