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Wrigley Field Construction Update: January 23

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On the day that Ernie Banks passed away, the renovation of his favorite place on Earth continued.

Here's a bit of news, courtesy of BCB reader Neighborfan: the Cubs now finally have all the bleacher construction permits approved. You can see that here. In Neighborfan's email to me, he said: "Now they can cut the crews loose." Let's hope so.

Meanwhile, here's the Friday report from BCB's David Sameshima, with a few details on the difficulty of doing this with the new fences and tarps and other things creating issues:

I arrived around 3:45 p.m. It was 32 degrees (+22 wind chill). The clock on the scorecard had the correct time again, so they must have turned the power back on. I forgot to mention another issue that started a few days ago. With the snow on the sidewalks melting away, there are doggy surprises appearing everywhere. I try to pay attention, but I have not always been successful. Something to remember if anyone is planning a visit to the ballpark.I had photo issues again on the Waveland side. Besides the normal tricky lighting issues, autofocus was a definite problem. I suspect it may be due to the dusty (really dirt) conditions on Waveland right now. In addition, there's not much of anything on the street right now. It may be a lack of contrast issue. There's nothing for the autofocus sensor to lock on. The AF sensor looks for contrast. Everything is dusty gray on Waveland.There are complications manually prefocusing modern AF designed lenses. They have manual settings, but their usefulness is limited. Add that to the fact that I am remotely firing the camera, and this gets tedious. I spent so much time trying to get a few usable Waveland photos that I didn't even notice that the utility crew working in front of the firehouse packed up for the day. When I first arrived on Waveland I saw all this activity at the end of the block with safety cones littering the sidewalk. When I finally turned to walk west toward the firehouse everything was already packed up, equipment driven off and workers gone. I was cold and tired and the light was gone so I skipped the triangle lot.They have switched to a boom system to deliver concrete to the bleachers. They had used this system early on in the project. For the past month or two, they had just been using the bucket system to transfer concrete. The boom was being used on Sheffield Avenue when I arrived. Later the truck was packed up, and moved over to Waveland Avenue. The equipment has not been extended when I got over to take photos on Waveland.There was also more utility work taking place on Waveland, further west of the work I photographed on Thursday. As a result, the space being used to temporarily park Engine 78 was now blocked as well. Engine 78 was now parked further west on Waveland, between Seminary and Clifton. This allows the engine to make still be accessible for emergency runs.Due to some changes in the work site this week, I am having more technical issues taking photos over the fence. This is slowing down my work flow. By the time I got some useable photos of the work in left field, the utility crews near the firehouse had already packed up, and left for the day. That's why I only have photos of the steel plates, that allow the street to temporarily reopen. As I was leaving, Engine 78 was able to return to the firehouse. Due to the traffic and dirt clouds, I was not able to take any photos along the Waveland Avenue side of the triangle lot.

David's planning a trip to Wrigley today so we should have more photos tomorrow, or Monday at the latest.