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Construction Updates

Friday, August 26, 2016

UAS Entrance Sign

UAS Construction Update for 08/26/2016

UAS Entrance Sign

Our Contractor will be starting to work on a new UAS sign at our entrance off Back Loop Road.  The existing UAS sign has been there for more years than most of us can remember.  It has served UAS well and now deserves an opportunity to be recycled into something new. 


UAS Entrance Sign Old
UAS Entrance Sign Old

UAS committed to building a new sign more than 5 years ago and it has taken this long to obtain the necessary permits and approvals.  We are excited that this project is becoming a reality and know that it will strengthen UAS’ presence in our community.   Please keep a watch for construction near the Back Loop Road and Auke Lake Way intersection until mid-October when the project is scheduled to be complete. 


UAS Entrance Sign New
UAS Entrance Sign New

Contact Nathan Leigh with any questions

Nathan NLEIGH1 11:24:17 AM
Saturday, May 07, 2016

A Long Day

UAS Construction Update for 05/07/2016

A Long Day

What started out as one day’s work has turned into more.......     Construction on the UAS waterline repair started early Thursday morning with high hopes of making the repair by the end of the day.   However, wet weather, a maze of other underground utilities and a bunch of concrete that had to be hand chiseled away from a pipe connection stretched  the project out until 6:00 PM Friday before we could get the water turned back on to Hendrickson Building, Soboleff Building, Hendrickson Annex, and Soboleff Annex.  

Just when the work crew was ready to head home for a hot meal and warm shower, UAS experienced another waterline break that shut down the water to the John R. Pugh residence hall.  What a disappointment….  Sort of like making the winning goal, only to have it recalled due to a penalty.  Or like hiking the Chilkoot and getting to Bennett Lake Lodge just to find out they ran out of stew and sourdough rolls.  It was a long day.

Good news is that the John R. Pugh Residence Hall is the only building affected and we have 7 days before the summer guests start showing up.   This is plenty of time to make another repair to the waterline.  A big Thank You goes out to the Admiralty Construction Crew for working long hard hours to get our Campus back on line.   Below are some photos of their work.


Pipe Trench Start
Pipe Trench Start

Start of the Trench Excavation


Water Pump in Bottom of Trench
Water Pump in Bottom of Trench

Pump in the bottom of the trench keeps water out of the trench.  The Contractor also had two additional pumps just uphill pumping water around the trench.


First Pipe Piece
First Pipe Piece


Last Pipe Piece
Last Pipe Piece


Tighting Bolts
Tighting Bolts

Two new pieces of pipe were installed, One 20-foot section and a 4-foot section.  This required 5 connections with 14 tension bolts and 14 compression bolts each for a total of 140 bolts that needed to be installed. Tightening the bottom bolts are always difficult.


Exothermic Welding
Exothermic Welding

Exothermic Welding of Wire from Cathodic Protection to Waterline.

Exothermic welding is a welding technique that uses an exothermic reaction of a thermite composition to heat a base metal to a molten mass that permanently bonds the wire to the pipe.  This process requires no external source of heat or electricity.


Exothermic Weld
Exothermic Weld

Example of Exothermic Welding Device


Stopped for the Weekend
Stopped for the Weekend

Construction Site Shut Down for the Weekend

Nathan NLEIGH1 05:10:53 PM
Friday, May 06, 2016

Water Water Everywhere

UAS Construction Update for 05/06/2016

Water Water Everywhere

On the morning of August 25 2015 UAS experienced an a waterline break, shutting down water to campus just a couple days before freshmen were to enter the John R. Pugh Residence Hall.  Fortunately,  Admiralty Construction was able to pull their crew off another project and make an emergency repair.  We were also fortunate that CBJ had a piece of 16-inch pipe we could use for the repair.

Corrosion (rust) was the cause of the August 2015 waterline break.  The following photos shows just how much the pipe had corroded before it finally broke.  This pipe is 16-inches in diameter and once had a wall thickness of 0.40-inches.  Notice how the pipe joint bolts have corroded so much the heads of the bolts are almost gone.


UAS Water Pipe Aug 2015
UAS Water Pipe Aug 2015

Corroded Pipe from UAS August 2015 Repair.

Ductile  iron pipes are protected from corrosion by a cement lining on the inside and a protective coating on the outside.  This protection system typically lasts for 50+ years.  Our UAS pipe is 30 years old.  Early corrosion of a pipe can be caused by many things, with corrosive soils and electrolysis being the usual culprits.   We do not know for sure what caused the corrosion in UAS’s water line and running tests to find out, cost much more than repairing the pipe.  However, electrolysis is my best guess based on the number of electrical conduits seen in the below photo.  Also, records show that an electrical transformer sat on this site for many years.


UAS Waterline Repair May 2016
UAS Waterline Repair May 2016

Pipe Excavation UAS May 2016 Repair

We are taking additional precautions against corrosion for this waterline repair. First is a high density polyethylene covering around the pipe.  This breaks any stray electrical connection between the pipe and the surrounding soil.  Second, we are adding some sacrificial zinc anodes attached to the pipe.  Zinc is an more excitable element than steel, so the zinc will corrode first, thus protecting the steel pipeline. These function the same way as zincs do on your boat. 

The Contractor has been working with Water coming up from the ground, Water falling from the sky and Water leaking out of the pipe.  UAS Staff in the Hendrickson Building, Hendrickson Annex, Soboleff Building and Soboleff Annex have been working without any Water.  Today makes us appreciate Engineers and Contractors who deliver water where we want it and keeps it from places we don’t.    

Nathan NLEIGH1 12:22:33 PM
Friday, April 22, 2016

Picnic Paradise

UAS – Anderson Parking Lot Expansion

UAS Construction Update for 4/22/2016

Picnic Paradise

UAS Campus has several wonderful places to have a picnic, sip morning hot chocolate or just take a short break. The Anderson Building parking expansion project has just added one more that I feel is the Picnic Paradise.  The view from Picnic Paradise this morning included bright blue skies, snow caped Admiralty Island, flat calm Auke Bay and some guy in his boat who did not have to go to work today.  Later this spring the view will include a blooming lilac bush that the Bedford family planted in their back yard more than 20 years ago.  During a mid-day break or during lunch, this will be a great place to take in your vitamin D on sunny days.


Anderson Picnic Table
Anderson Picnic Table

Anderson Building Picnic Paradise


The Contractor started this project last fall and was not able to get it completed before the asphalt pavement plant shut down for the winter.  This spring the Contractor installed the sidewalks, parking lot lights and has prepared the grade for asphalt pavement.  Provide that we do not get heavy rain on Saturday they will pave the parking lot and complete this project.   However, the construction by the Anderson Building will just be starting.  For the next two summers, the Department of Transportation will be rebuilding Glacier Highway from Fritz Cove to Seaview.  Their project will add sidewalks to both sides of the road, streetlights, and wider shoulders for bicyclists.   It will also relocate our driveway entrance to the Anderson building and eliminate about half of the parking in the existing lot.  This is the reason the Anderson parking lot had to be expanded.


New Anderson Parking Lot
New Anderson Parking Lot

Anderson Building Parking Lot Expansion

Nathan NLEIGH1 10:52:34 AM
Friday, February 12, 2016

Valentine's Day - Strengthening Relationships

UAS Project Update for 02/12/2016

Valentine’s Day – Strengthening Relationships

Valentine’s Day is a good reminder that relationships need to be continuously nourished and reinforced to keep them strong and healthy.  Neglecting or taking for granted is a sure way to weaken or completely lose a relationship.  In Alaska there is a beautiful view around every corner. So it is easy to forget our relationship with Auke Lake, a wonderful gem right in our back yard.

UAS selected several staff and faculty over this past summer to work with a professional land planner to develop a UAS Shoreline Master Plan.  We worked on the Plan for the past 7 months, developing a purpose and need statement and then exploring many different elements that UAS could implement to strengthen our connection with Auke Lake.   The Plan went through several revisions, with many elements being added and removed in effort to come up with a plan that meets the needs of the UAS community without defeating the purpose of strong relationship with Auke Lake.  The Master Plan has now progressed enough for posting on the UAS website under Facilities Services.

Auke Lake Shoreline Master Plan
Auke Lake Shoreline Master Plan
Auke Lake Shoreline Master Plan
Uploaded:Fri Feb 12 11:55:03 2016
File size:3749289 bytes

This Valentine’s Day as you read the UAS Auke Lake Shoreline Master Plan, you will see how we identified several ways to strengthen UAS’s connection to Auke Lake.  If you have other relationships that need strengthening, I recommend developing your own Master Plan.

Nathan Leigh,  UAS Project Manager

Nathan NLEIGH1 11:55:39 AM
Friday, July 17, 2015

Alligators in your Pavement

UAS Construction Update for 07/27/2015

Alligators in your Pavement

Those of us with lots of experience will remember the Enco gasoline advertising campaign of “Put a Tiger in Your Tank”.  

 tiger in your tank 


Well we have Alligators in our Pavement….. 


Aligator Cracking Egan
Aligator Cracking Egan

Alligator Cracking in Pavement by Egan

I received a great question last week about why are we replacing perfectly good asphalt pavement. 

There are many things in life that are hard to tell when it will fail or break.  Some good examples include; the transmission in your car, the roof over your house, a freezer full of fish or your favorite high school sweater.  These things always seem to break down at the worst possible time and cost much more than expected.  However, a good steward will ask an expert how much longer the item will last and what it will cost to repair or replace.   By the way, my mechanic says my car transmission has less than a year left and my wife has thrown out my high school sweater.


Paving at Egan
Paving at Egan

UAS hired an Engineering Consultant to inventory and analyze all of the Asphalt Pavement here on the Juneau Campus.  The Engineer categorized the asphalt pavement by how long it was expected to last;  Less than three years,   three to Ten years, and more than Ten years remaining useful life.   UAS then followed the expert’s recommendations in planning for and carrying out the current asphalt pavement replacement project.

Engineers use the type and severity of cracking in the asphalt as one variable to determine it's remaining useful life.  The asphalt in front of Eagan and up at Housing was experiencing Alligator Cracking.  This cracking was caused by a sandy sub-base with weak shear strength, thin layer of asphalt and an asphalt mix that was dry and brittle. 

The asphalt repair by the UAS Recreation center was to fix some Joint Cracking/Raveling.  This is where the joint between two sections of pavement did not adhere together very well and the asphalt had begun to break apart at the joint.


New Asphalt Pavement at Egan
New Asphalt Pavement at Egan

New Asphalt Pavement at Egan

Asphalt Pavement Engineers use several other classifications of pavement failure including;  Longitudinal Cracking, Transvers Cracking, Block Cracking, Edge Cracking, Reflection Cracking, Slippage Cracking, Shoving, rutting, raveling and wearing.  Sort of makes you want to sign up for an Engineering Class :)

UAS Facilities is tasked with being a good steward for the entire infrastructure here on campus. This includes knowing when something is reaching its expected life and preparing for it to be repaired or replaced,  before it fails.  When something fails, it costs more to repair and can interfere with our mission to Learn, Engage, Exchange.

Nathan NLEIGH1 01:33:24 PM
Friday, May 01, 2015

Lighting the Pathway (May 1, 2015)

UAS Construction Update for 05/01/2015

Lighting the Pathway

UAS will replace the old High Pressure Sodium (HPS) pathway lights with new Light Emitting Diode (LED) lights this summer.  We will be using the same small scale lights that were installed along the Auke Lake Way sidewalk last summer.  Many UAS students, faculty and staff have commented on the inviting atmosphere these lights give the walkways.  These LED light fixtures have a mounting bracket below the LED light which deflects enough light that you can see it from the end of the pathway.  With this type of light fixture, we will see a trail of lights stretched before us and our minds will perceive that the pathway is lighter, and more inviting to walk.  

UAS Pathway Lights installed in 2014

 Path Lights Night 

The Contractor will start next week marking the locations of the new lights and then remove the existing lights beginning later in May.  The new lights will extend from Housing down to Eagan Library as shown on the figure below.  Please note that there will be periods this summer when the pathway will be closed to pedestrian traffic.  Signs and markers will lead the way for detours around the construction zone.  The work will be completed before school starts this coming fall.

Please feel free to  contact me with any questions about this project.

Nathan Leigh, UAS Project Manager, 796-6487


UAS Site Lighting 2015
UAS Site Lighting 2015

Nathan NLEIGH1 12:15:02 PM
Friday, December 05, 2014

Answer to Last Month's Puzzler

UAS Construction Update for 12/05/2014

Answer to Last Month’s Puzzler

Last month we asked the question on why bubbles formed in the silicone window joint.  (See Post on Oct 31)  This question turned out to be more of a puzzler than I had expected.  We received several good theories and some not so good.  Here are some of the answers we received.

  1. Something left on edges of glass that reacted with the silicone causing gas bubbles.
  2. Calking gun not uniform and backing off a little and allowing an air bubble to form.
  3. Edges of glass not cleaned and the silicone lost “grip” of the glass when it cured. Thus creating small suction cup bubbles.  (See Oct 17 Entry for suction cup physics)
  4. Silicone emits gas as it cures.  When the Silicone is too thick the gas gets trapped inside the silicone joint causing bubbles.
  5. Silicone not stored properly causing it to go bad.
  6. The bubble ferry…… and it gets feathers caught when the silicone dries too fast.
  7. The glass has a film sandwiched in the center so it will not shatter if it breaks. This film is emitting a gas or is reacting with the Silicone creating gas bubbles.
  8. There is movement in the joint as it cures causing the bubbles to stretch or tear.  Movement can as little as someone leaning up against a pane of glass.

These answers came from Contractors, Architects, Engineers and the Silicone manufacture’s Product Manager.  All of these answers have a sense of plausibility. However, none of them address all of the questions in our puzzler, particularly why bubbles only formed on one side of the joint, why some sections had large bubbles and some small bubbles, why some sections had no bubbles.  

 2014 10-31 Feather Bubble 

                 Feather Bubble Suspended in Silicone

My theory is that it is a combination of answers 4, 7 and 8.  It may not be the cut and dry answer you were hoping for, but it’s my answer and I’m sticking to it. 

Good Luck on finals next week and lets all hope your exams have easier questions than “Why did bubbles form in the Silicone joint of the UAS Freshman Residential Housing conference room glass wall”.

Nathan NLEIGH1 11:59:58 AM
Friday, November 21, 2014

Inspection with a View Nov 21

UAS Construction Update for 11/21/2014

Inspection with a View

The Architectural Team performed an inspection of the exterior metal siding and window flashing.  The weather was excellent for an outside inspection, considering it is the third week in November.  The inspection team found the Contractors work to be good with just a couple of items that need to address.  Providing the weather holds, the Contractor has another couple of weeks completing the siding and window flashing on Hall #2.   We greatly appreciate patience our UAS freshmen have had the past couple of months while the finishing touches are being made to the UAS Freshman Hall.

                                  Metal Siding Inspection


                                   Inspection with a View

 Siding Inspection 


I have received several Theories’ on the puzzler asked last month on why bubbles appeared in the clear silicone glass joints in the seminar room.  All of these Theories start out with a good basis.  However, they do not stand up to all of the facts we have in this scenario.  The design team has a call into the silicone manufacturer to see if they have a better Theory.  Until then, let’s just hold tight.


Nathan NLEIGH1 02:40:53 PM
Friday, October 31, 2014

Puzzler for the Week (Oct 31)

Puzzler for the Week

Many of life’s great discoveries have been made with someone asked Why? and then spent the time and energy to figure it out.  We also learn more and retain that knowledge when we ask Why.  I am not going to try and discuss the great questions asked by Mr. Cosby like “Why is there Air”.   But, we did run across an interesting puzzler this week at the UAS Freshman Residential Housing project.

The fourth floor seminar room looks out over the UAS campus, Auke Lake and Mendenhall Glacier through several large panes of 1/2-inch thick glass.  The contractor filled used a special clear silicone to fill the space in-between adjoining panes of glass.  They used the electric calking gun so the placement of the silicone is very continuous and uniform.  The first day that the silicone was installed, it looked good.  However, over the next couple of days air bubbles formed in the silicone. 

 Calking Gun Electric Calking Gun by Makita

 Seminar Room

View from UAS Freshman Residential Hall seminar room.

 Silicon Joint Silicone Calking Between Adjoining Panes of Glass

 Bubbles one side Bubbles Only on One Side of Joint.

 Bubbles w feathers Bubbles with Feathers.

 Feather Bubble Feather Bubble

The Puzzler for the week is:

  • Why did air bubbles form in the Silicone?
  • Why there were no air bubbles the first day when it was installed?
  • Why did air bubbles form only on one side of the joint in some locations?
  • Why did lots of small air bubbles form in some sections while large bubbles form in other sections?
  • Why do some air bubbles have what looks like a small feather coming out of them?


e-mail your answers to  by noon November 6, 2014. 

The top 3 answers will be included in next week’s UAS Construction Update.

Nathan NLEIGH1 12:34:18 PM

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