Ripping it up

We’ve been in the house for a year. It’s time to rip up the asphalt driveway and replace it with concrete. Construction and dumpsters damaged a 50-foot-long section of the driveway. Erosion and rainwater undermined a section closest to the kitchen. At the back fence, water travels across the driveway whenever it rains, whenever the backyard neighbors switch on their sprinklers, carrying debris and building an alluvial fan of sediment that travels all the way to the curb at the front of the house.

Steven called Mauricio at Gilsa Construction, which did the concrete work on the house. They reached agreement on budget.

Work begins by ripping up the asphalt with a Bobcat. Netto is driving. Manuel is shoveling.

The Bobcat blade rips through the asphalt. First discovery — the asphalt comes up quickly and is brittle with age; we guess it is at least 30 years old. Second discovery — the roadbase under the asphalt is in really good shape and does not need to be replaced. Instead, Gilsa will be able to easily regrade it to push water away from the house.
Netto moves the Bobcat into the field opposite the garage doors. The asphalt continues to come up easily, brittle, even when warmed up in the sunlight.
More big chunks as Netto moves toward the garage doors.
This is almost as close as Netto will bring the Bobcat to the garage. After this, Netto and Manuel switch out to pick and shovel.
Manuel discovered this mask buried in the dirt between the driveway and the neighbor’s fence.
Manuel wrestles a chunk of asphalt by hand.
Netto drives the Bobcat closer to load the asphalt.
Netto, left, and Manuel wrangle a chunk of asphalt away from the garage slab.
This work builds muscle. Manual lifts a chunk of asphalt with a pick while Netto carries a section to the Bobcat.
Near the end of the day, Netto parks the Bobcat at the end of the driveway.
A pile of asphalt rubble at the end of the day.
Since we’re pouring a new concrete driveway, we’re also going to rip out the last section of the ugly old original pebbled walk from the front door to the street.
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