Sunday, September 5, 2010


Improving the strength and stability of the QVC involves better anchoring of the building’s steel skeleton to the ground. One part of that will involve increasing the size of the concrete footers and adding concrete substructure between the beams. To that end, long boxes of rebar will be set into concrete and serve as attachment points for the steel pillars. However, there are several steps to this seemingly simple action.

First is the rebar itself. What appears at first as a jumbled mass of rods scattered across our parking lot is actually a well organized and thought out erector set.

Each rebar box is made up of many separate rods of different shapes and lengths. And each has ends that are bent to very precise angles that are dictated by that rod’s position in the framework. Reference must be made to some very visually confusing blueprints to determine where each piece of rebar is to be placed.

To form a rigid structure each piece of rebar needs to be tied to others. Welding isn’t necessary because in the end all this will be set in concrete. However, the wiring keeps the pieces in place. Hundreds of ties need to be done for each box.

At first the wiring can be done on saw horses.

But when the longer pieces of rebar are added the whole structure needs to be suspended.

Once a box is completed, work starts on the next. Eventually each will be set in the ground and concrete poured into the trench. We will come to that in a future post.

Photos: National Park Service.


  1. Dan -- thanks so much for all the updates on the Visitor's Center and its progress. It's been so helpful, as we are planning a trip to Dinosaur in mid-June of 2011. I recently read on another website that the Junior Paleontologist program is currently unavailable, but on the DNM website that is not indicated. If you happen to see this, could you let me know whether it is still available? We have a 7 year old daughter who is a dinosaur fiend who has been talking about nothing else but getting her "junior paleontologist" badge since she saw a picture of it on the website. I don't want to squash her hopes on this unless it is, indeed, a suspended program. Thanks so much for any help on this, and maybe we'll see you in mid-June. Much appreciated.

  2. Glad you have found the blog of interest. We still have a long way to go on the project. The estimated opening date for the quarry building is late next summer early next fall. Hopefully no surprises will turn up to change that date.

    I checked with the interpretive operation at the park and they said the junior paleontologist program is still active. It consists of a workbook that needs to be completed and turned in. When that's done you get a nice junior paleontologist badge. If you happen to come here before the building is reopened, make sure you hike the short Fossil Discovery Trail where you can see a number of dinosaur bones still in the rock, naturally exposed by weathering.

    However, the most spectacular viewing will be in the Fall when the new building is opened.



  3. Thank you so much, Dan! We're driving out from WV -- with a stop in Yellowstone -- so I doubt we'll make it back again this Fall. But definitely a repeat visit to see the quarry at a later date if our daughter's dino-obsession continues. Really appreciate you taking the time to answer, she will be thrilled.