Thursday, May 31, 2012

Contractors: Prepare for wind gusts in June

On May 24th, Madison saw gusts of 50 mph, sending billowing clouds of dust from three construction sites we inspected.

March and April are usually said to be the windiest months here--the months with the highest average wind speed.

But it's actually June that's the month with the highest average peak gusts--of 50.7 mph.*  Both June and July have the highest gusts on record--both of 83 mph.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

High winds in Madison produce clouds of dust over construction sites

EPA records indicate Madison ranks as the 24th worst city for short-term particulate pollution in the air.  So it's important to understand where this dust comes from.

The University Crossing construction site

On Thursday, May 24, the sky was clear, but winds gusted to 50 mph in the late afternoon.

Demolition at Westgate Mall by Weitz HyVee creates asbestos dust hazard


On Saturday, May 19, 2012, the south portion of Westgate Mall was being demolished on a windy day, sending much dust NE into residential areas. 

Since this was the first mall in Madison, built in 1960, some of the construction materials contain asbestos. The dangers of asbestos weren't widely recognized and regulated until the 1970s--asbestos use in the US peaked in 1973.