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Trapped Corvettes To Emerge From NCM Sinkhole Starting On Monday 3/3 – “Operation Corvette Plus”

By , Photography by National Corvette Museum

If all goes well, the eight Corvettes trapped by a sinkhole under the National Corvette Museum will see the light of day starting this coming Monday.

In a statement issued on Thursday, February 27, the Museum said that the “Blue Devil” will be the first one to be removed from the sinkhole on Monday, March 3. That’s after test borings of the soil and bedrock under the Museum and Skydome showed that it was safe to bring in the heavy equipment needed to secure and reinforce the building’s foundation, as well as to lift the eight Vettes out of the sinkhole.

The Museum now calls the rescue operation “Operation Corvette Plus.” The Museum says, “We’ve named the project this because for something to raise from a base level ‘up’ equals moving in a ‘+’ direction.  Our ultimate goal is to keep the existing building ‘up’ in its original position, raise the Corvettes in the hole ‘up’, then bring the fill in the hole ‘up’ and lastly, bring the concrete floor back ‘up’ to its original level.”

Here’s the National Corvette Museum’s press release:

Skydome Update from Construction Manager, Car Extraction Plan Announced

Providing timely updates on the Corvette sinkhole incident has always been a priority for the National Corvette Museum. In an effort to provide everyone with as much information as possible, Mike Murphy with Scott, Murphy and Daniel, our Construction Management company, has written an update as to the work that has been completed and the plan for work moving forward.

OPERATION “CORVETTE PLUS”

We’ve named the project this because for something to raise from a base level ‘up’ equals moving in a ‘+’ direction. Our ultimate goal is to keep the existing building ‘up’ in its original position, raise the Corvettes in the hole ‘up’, then bring the fill in the hole ‘up’ and lastly, bring the concrete floor back ‘up’ to its original level.

We are very appreciative of the National Corvette Museum, Chubb Insurance and VanMeter Insurance Group to allow us to assemble the best group of professionals to effectively and accurately ‘heal this horrendous hole’ in the Skydome. Our reputation both in business and personally, obligates us to hold the best interest of our community partner in mind 24/7 until the project is completed.

“CORVETTE PLUS” ESTIMATED SCHEDULE

Since the beginning of the project, the number one goal is to ‘proceed cautiously ‘ with the recovery and reconstruction in such a manner to keep safety of the facility and the workers the main priority and number two, plan and perform in a positive (+) direction daily. Because there are so many unknowns within the boundaries of this project, having an exact schedule ‘in stone’ is not practical or possible. Every day’s planning and action determines the next step in executing a successful operation.

THIS WEEK (2/24/2014)

We began the week finishing shallow test borings in the remainder of the Skydome floor to insure there was no immediate danger of another sink hole collapse happening in the remaining floor space. These tests proved successful.

Before heavy equipment such as man-lifts, excavators and cranes (which are on site and ready to approach the sink hole area) could be brought into the Skydome area, deeper test drilling was performed to insure a sufficient thickness of earth and rock was present to support this equipment’s entry and operation. The last test hole was completed Wednesday morning and the ‘positive data’ recorded has now been turned over to the engineers and geologists for their analysis and verification. Additionally on Wednesday, drillers moved their operation to the outside foundation of the Skydome and have begun the drilling, high-strength grouting and installation of steel cased micro piling connected to the dome’s perimeter foundation. This operation, securing and reinforcing the building’s foundation, will continue for approximately 1 ½ to 2 weeks.

On Thursday (2/26/14), we received ‘the go ahead’ by the professionals to give the ‘green light’ to bring equipment into the area and begin the set-up and preparation for the cranes to suspend engineers and contractors safely into the middle of the sink area and examine closer the condition of the hole and finalize the recovery plan, determine exact measurements for lifting and verify techniques for beginning the removal of the ‘three’ most assessable vehicles (those not embedded into the embankment). The mobilizing of equipment and accessories, along with the final planning and hole condition examination should finish this week’s work schedule through Saturday, as the outside piling installation continues. There is a suspended steel ring around the spire in which the lighting and sprinkler system is located. A quick test run on Wednesday is indicating the possibility to disconnect the system and raise it above the needed working area of the crane booms. This could possibly cause a day’s delay in the recovery operation should this be determined once cranes are in their designated positions.

Everyone should keep in mind that a special operation such as this cannot be on an ‘exact planned schedule’ like a new building under construction is often orchestrated. Concerns and calculations which insure the safety of the building and workforce will remain our #1 priority, even if it impedes our schedule to insure that each task is performed exact and successful.

NEXT WEEK (3/3/2014)

We anticipate if all plans and factors work successfully, the removal of the first three vehicles will begin during the day on Monday, in hopes to have all three cars extracted by Wednesday. The first car to be removed is the 2009 ZR1 "Blue Devil." There may be some complications when removing the 1962 Black Corvette because the 5 ton concrete slab resting against the front of the car must be lifted simultaneously and in conjunction with the lifting of the vehicle. We will be allowing approved media to film INSIDE of the Skydome during the first car's removal.

STAY TUNED

IF WE (Scott, Murphy & Daniel Construction) HAVE ANY CHANGES OR ALTERATIONS OF OUR SCHEDULE, WE WILL NOTIFY THE CORVETTE MUSEUM AND OFFER OUR BEST GUESS ‘UPDATES.’

Links to photos, videos and press releases are available on the Museum's website at www.corvettemuseum.org. For the latest updates visit the Museum’s Facebook Fan page at www.facebook.com/corvettemuseum. For your convenience, some of which are found below as well as in our previous coverage of the sinkhole:

Chevrolet Vows to Restore Damaged Corvettes
Watch the Corvette Museum Sinkhole Swallow 8 Cars (video)
Sinkhole Claims 8 Corvettes at NCM

Live streaming available here:

NCM Webcam Skydome
Ustream

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