Excavating History in Chicago


Archaeologists are conducting excavations at a grassy South Side site once used as the home for meatpacking officials, church congregations, and academics at Illinois Institute of Technology – part of a project called Excavating History. The best guide to finding Chicago Excavating.

Before initiating any excavation work, call 811. This free service connects you with local utilities, who will send someone out to mark any buried lines.

Site Preparation

Site preparation is an integral component of construction projects as it creates the framework necessary for work to commence. It involves clearing and grading land in order to make future building easier without structural complications while also helping identify any potential issues before they emerge, making addressing and solving them simpler.

Prior to any site preparation for construction, a soil test must first be conducted. This will help identify its composition, its ability to absorb water, and how well it supports structures; additionally, any contaminants or hazards, such as buried tanks, chemicals, or waste that might hinder its progress, will also be identified during this test.

After conducting a soil test, a site design plan will be drawn up that takes into account existing fixtures, such as septic tanks and underground utilities, as well as potential new foundation sites for any foundation that might need to be built in the future. Furthermore, any excavation requirements like tunnels or shafts should also be included within this plan.

Once your site design is finalized, site preparation can commence. Clearing land includes clearing away trees and plants such as shrubs. Excavating can then take place to clear away stones, foreign materials, or other obstructions using heavy equipment like bulldozers or excavators.

Site Grading

Site grading is critical to any commercial or industrial project’s success, as it involves shaping the land to provide adequate drainage, aesthetics, building codes, and compliance with zoning regulations.

Professional excavating companies possess both the equipment and expertise to complete this process successfully. Their services can cover excavation as well as grading – creating trenches and foundations as well as flattening hills, or creating slopes for drainage. In addition, they can build retaining walls, install septic tanks and drain fields, reroute utilities, or lay gravel for roads or parking lots.

Grading involves surveying and mapping a site in order to establish its existing topography, including drainage patterns and elevations of natural and artificial structures. After which, heavy machinery such as bulldozers or motor graders use heavy digging machines like bulldozers and motor graders dig up higher points on the property while filling in lower ones – effectively leveling it all out and leveling out any slopes that don’t conform with the desired contours or slopes necessary for the use of specific structures without risking erosion that would potentially eradicate them.

Experienced grading contractors possess the expertise to conduct excavation and grading with precision and in accordance with local laws while causing minimal disruptions to nearby businesses and homes. Furthermore, they may recommend site-specific solutions like drainage systems to prevent flooding and basement flooding, as well as landscaping plans to enhance the appearance of completed projects.


Shoring is an integral component of construction, excavation, renovation, or demolition projects. It provides support for walls, roofs, and beams to prevent structures from collapsing while stabilizing soil to prevent underground utilities from moving or roadways from sinking. Shoring comes in various forms – H and I-beam shoring; raking, flying, and dead shoring are just some examples – helping repair foundations, improve building structural integrity, as well as hold trenches on construction or archeological sites.

JD Construction recently collaborated with Heidtman Steel Products in East Chicago, Michigan, to dig the underground foundations for their 150 x 70-foot Alcos Slitting Line. The project presented many unique challenges, most notably, it being inside an existing building with limited overhead clearance preventing trench shield use; this necessitated using a custom-designed shoring system instead.

JD relied on Efficiency Production Inc’s Slide Rail Shoring System as part of their safety plan, which uses hydraulic pistons to apply pressure against the trench face, eliminating workers entering and increasing safety. Furthermore, its fast installation/removal makes for quick turnaround times in various soil conditions.


Excavation processes are an essential component of many construction projects. Mistakes such as building cave-ins or collapse can happen when laborers dig too deep, the shoring is subpar, or measurements are off; such errors could result in structural instability, water damage, and expensive repairs for both general contractors and homeowners alike.

Before any excavation begins, a site must first be evaluated by both an engineer and supervisor in order to establish boundaries and determine an ideal plan of action and the area that needs excavating. Rough staking will show where structures will be built, as well as any obstacles that must be cleared away for excavation to commence.

Safety inspections are performed during excavation to ensure proper procedures are being adhered to, such as detecting underground utilities, soil protection methods like stepping and sloping, gas testing inside the excavation, hard barricades and signs, alternate access for vehicles and personnel, and more.

All parties performing excavation work that requires a permit must carry commercial general liability insurance of no less than $1 million per occurrence to cover bodily injury and property damage caused by excavation work. In addition, this coverage must provide for costs incurred by the City when necessary to repair sagging, settling, cracking, or collapsed structures on public ways or foundation walls of existing structures on different lots as a result of excavation works.

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