No, the little yellow machine they used to compact the fill at the former Wells Fargo lot in downtown Albany is not actually a robot even though it looks like it functions on its own.
It’s remote-controlled, though, so no one has to hold on to the machine while it thumps the fill material, which looks like gravel and dirt, until it qualifies as “terra firma.”
Someone called my attention to this machine Wednesday, and by the time I got around to visiting the site at 300 W. First Ave. it was almost after hours and the work was done.
Not completely done, though, a man in a hard hat told me. He had hoped to be done Wednesday but in fact had one more day of work to finish the job.
Seeing this former bank lot so level and full of fill made me wonder about something:
The Albany Revitalization Agency hopes to sell the site to someone to construct a new building. What if the new building needs a basement? Won’t they have to excavate all the compacted fill that Laneco, the demolition contractor, has just spent a couple of weeks putting in?
The city contract did require that the hole left by the demolition be filled and made level with the surrounding ground. Maybe they figured it would be hard to sell as a great big hole in the ground.
And if the property doesn’t sell, well, then having it filled and level will make it easier to convert to a parking lot. Right? (hh)