Workers recently removed several areas of the topping slab laid on the plaza last year, and replaced them. And yes, they appear to be a different color. A 100% match is not possible, however the biggest reason for the difference in appearance is that it is brand new, un-weathered, and untainted by all the dust from the ComEd work.
The bulk of the work on the Plaza/Driveway Project was completed last year. However, many components remained including the vertical panels along the sidewalk, sealant work, and many ‘punchlist’ items including replacement of several sections of the topping slab that were not complete. We are withholding a significant sum of money from the contract to make sure the work is completed to our satisfaction.
We expressed concerns to the contractor over areas of the slabs where there appeared to be a very inconsistent presence of the pebbles. So they agreed to replace these slabs. The new slabs poured are very noticeable, and stand out against the others which are already weathered and dusty. However, before they are completely done, the entire plaza will be professionally washed and sealed. This process should make the entire area look like new.
Some folks have expressed concern – they did not see a problem or felt it was good enough. And that’s a completely logical response. The problem was, upon close inspection, on some of the slabs the lack of stones in the topping left a bit of a pitted or cratered appearance. For aggregate, this is not unusual and adds character to the surface. These are naturally occurring stones, and not meant to fit perfectly together like a puzzle. However, just enough cratering can result in maintenance problems down the road as traffic over these areas loosens the pebbles.
After conferring with the Association’s engineers on the project, WJE, and the contractor, we agreed it was necessary in these locations to replace these slabs. Once the entire area is spray washed and sealed, the new topping will more closely resemble the original.