• Giant Sequoia Trees

    Sequoia & Kings Canyon

    National Parks California

Roads and Utilities Removal

Bucket of excavator rips up section of asphalt

An excavator removes pavement from the Giant Forest.

NPS photo by Athena Demetry

Asphalt pavement in roads, parking lots, and walkways was usually removed by lifting the pavement edges using the claw of an excavator or backhoe. In locations where close spacing of trees prevented use of large equipment, contractors often made use of small equipment such as Bobcats and "mini-excavators."

Concrete manholes, vaults, lift stations, footings, foundations, and sewage treatment facilities were removed completely, if possible. If unacceptable vegetation or soil damage would result from complete removal, or if complete removal was prohibitively expensive, the concrete was removed to at least 2 feet below the surface. Any remaining concrete was fractured prior to backfilling to allow water to drain through. Concrete utilities were removed by excavators and backhoes, but in locations not accessible to this equipment, such as the sewer line running beside Deer Creek, concrete was broken up using a jackhammer and hauled away by mules. All asphalt and concrete debris was recycled by crushing into ¾ inch chunks for use as road base in future construction projects.

To protect shallow roots, underground water and sewer lines were left in place unless portions were exposed during demolition. In such cases, pipes were removed until remaining portions were 2 feet below the surface. Pipes were removed by pulling horizontally rather than by digging and lifting. Ends of pipes to be left in place were plugged with concrete to prevent channeling of groundwater.

Underground propane tanks were purged of any remaining propane and removed completely.

Where telephone lines, electric lines, or light fixtures were attached to live trees, the connecting brackets were removed completely, if possible. If the tree had grown around the bracket to such an extent that removal would injure the tree, protruding parts were cut flush with the tree and the remainder left in place. In most cases contractors were able to remove the entire fixture.

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