For anyone who believes the media just want to dig up dirt, this column is for you.
Bob: I have been wondering what happens with all the rock and soil that is being removed from the tunnel. We are running out of wetlands and Lake Erie is already too shallow.
Herman: You are referring to the Big Dig, technically known as the Ohio Canal Interceptor Tunnel, uncommonly known as OCIT. It’s the monstrous project that finally will get the city into compliance with the federal EPA.
The gazillion-dollar, super-duper megatunnel will whisk away sewage and stormwater during heavy rains and put it in a giant hole under downtown Akron long enough to prevent it from further polluting the Cuyahoga River.
The project’s headliner is a gargantuan boring machine that will gobble up enough Akron earth to create a 6,240-foot-long tunnel 27 feet in diameter.
If the city were going to heave the excavations into wetlands and Lake Erie, we’d have a big ol’ dirty scoop, Herm. But, fortunately, that doesn’t appear to be the game plan.
City Hall says all the material scooped out will initially be moved just across the river to a site owned by Akron’s Kenmore Construction, one of the subcontractors to the joint contractors from Illinois and Tokyo. After that it will be used as fill at OCIT sites that are open.
You want more details? We have details aplenty, compliments of detail-oriented City Hall spokeswoman Ellen Lander Nischt.
•?About 85 percent of the stuff excavated will be rock, mostly shale. The remaining 15 percent will be soil of various types. (Apparently, they believe less than 1 percent will be dinosaur bones.)
•?About 260,000 cubic yards of rock and soil will be removed during construction of the tunnel and the related drop shafts. The tunnel work will account for about two-thirds of that total.
Those 260,000 cubic yards are the equivalent of ... I have absolutely no idea.
Seven million baseball mounds?
A year’s worth of empty beer cans at The Ohio State University?
Enough material to fill 10 percent of Akron’s potholes?
Local math wizards, please step forward.
•?About 57,000 cubic yards of the stuff will be used to regrade the OCIT site off of Cuyahoga Street.
Can’t picture that amount, either.
•?During an average day, the contractor will be pulling out 1,000 cubic yards. If they’re really on a roll, it could be 1,500.
Still not seeing it. But I bet that’s a whole lot of rock and soil.
This fellow emailed me a photocopy of a check he received from a health care company in California. It was a refund after the company made an adjustment on a Part D Medicare co-pay.
The amount of the check? Thirty-eight cents.
Bob: What could an official-looking envelope from California contain? When we opened it, my wife and I laughed.
I wondered what could I do with this check.
I could take it to the teller window and ask for small denominations and share the laughter.
I could send a check image to our favorite newspaper columnist. He may have a slow idea day and find it useful.
At least I didn’t spend 49 cents mailing it to you.
Dennis: Most of my idea days are slow, so I appreciate you emailing this my way.
But I think you were right the first time. Take it into a crowded bank, ask the teller to pay you in small denominations and then get a copy of the surveillance video to show at parties.
Bob: Enjoy your column and noticed an occasional sign of interest.
Here is one from Medina, Ohio, one of the Beacon Journal’s strongest support bases.
Hope you can use it without both of us ending up on the wrong end of the legal system.
Bruce: Anyone can sue anyone for anything, so we’d better lawyer up.
Actually, I think we’re pretty safe. It’s a public sign and both of these businesses surely knew they were opening themselves up to some jokes by sharing the same sign.
The sign in your photo — for the benefit of readers who haven’t hacked your email — reads:
Attorney at Law
And right below that:
Bob Dyer can be reached at 330-996-3580 or firstname.lastname@example.org. He also is on Facebook at www.facebook.com/bob.dyer.31