Many monsters never really go away. For example, over a series of three films the Creature from the Black Lagoon returned over and over, and became more human in looks and biology with each new movie. Probably the greatest monster resurrection of all time is that of Lieutenant Ellen Ripley and the Aliens from the planet Acheron. After plunging into a processing vat of molten metal on the planet Fiorina 'Fury' 161, a foundry facility and penal colony in Aliens 3, both she and the monsters are cloned and brought back to life aboard the spaceship USM Auriga some 200 years later in Alien Resurrection. Well, the Quarry Visitor Center is haunted by a number of engineering and construction monsters, but the one that never seems to go away is hazardous material abatement.
Extensive welding is being done as part of the building of the entrance ramp and another ramp inside the building that connects the upper and lower galleries. Both structures need to be welded to lead paint covered steel beams.
|The beams of the north wall of the Quarry Visitor Center --- a place where the sun never shines.|
To further complicate matters the lead abatement is being done using chemical strippers. When the chemicals are applied the paint softens, separates from the steel, and can be scrapped in large soft sheets into plastic bags. Well that’s how it works most of the time. But the effectiveness of the chemical strippers is temperature dependent. And right now the temperature is not always cooperative.
When the sun is shining directly on the beams the chemicals work fine. However, once in the shade they are less effective. As the temperatures plunge, they may not work at all. With February being the most disagreeable month here, as far as sub-zero temperatures are involved, the abatement can take longer than hoped for. And the need for unexpected abatement on the north side, where there is little direct sunlight, promises further frustration and some slowing down in the schedule. However, this is in keeping with the history of the QVC project ---- many surprises, few of them pleasant.
Photos: NPS (with the obvious exception of Ripley and her Alien inquisitor).