There’s no better way to make hundreds of thousands of people angry than top shut down a highly traveled road on a work day. Because of that, the pressure is on for many companies to demolish overpasses in less than a day and open the road back up in time for morning traffic.
In June of 2015, the city of Bandford in Ontario, Canada allowed Priestly Demolition roughly 10 hours to completely remove an overpass over the 6 lane highway 400 and then disappear without a trace. To add pressure to the job, the city was also ready to exercise liquidated damages if the crews could not complete in time.
To get the job done, the demolition company used a total of 6 excavators (2 shears and 4 hammers), 3 loaders, and 2 bulldozers. That’s 11 pieces of heavy machinery in a space that could open fit 6 cars, so the process had to be well planned and everyone had to be on the same page to make it work. The timelapse is pretty incredible to watch, so much so it could give the ballet a run for its money. Move over Nutcracker.
Not all demolition videos can be implosions and that’s OK, because each type of demolition is its own art form. Sometimes contractors are bound by the constraints of the job, especially when located in an area with a large concentration of pedestrians and other public areas. That was the case for the construction site of the future One Vanderbilt Tower in New York City, which just completed the demolition of five different buildings covering an entire city block.
The number one goal on every construction site should be that all workers make it home safe at the end of the day. The sad reality is that hundreds of construction workers are killed on the job site every year. Last year, contractors were working on an indoor activity center for a high school in Argyle, Texas, when the 30 foot tall structure quickly collapsed, killing one man in the process.
Construction work can be a workout in and of itself many times. The hours are long, the tools and materials are heavy, but that’s not stopping a young worker in central China from adding some additional exercises to his daily routine.
The weight of dirt is serious business and the force it provides should not be underestimated. Depending on the moisture content, soil can weigh around 2,000 pounds per cubic yard. Many construction workers die each year from trench collapses due to improper shoring and benching techniques, but weight and force calculations are also extremely important in the design and construction of retaining walls.
It’s not often that a gigantic pack of construction vehicles are seen on the same site together, been when they do, it’s pretty memorizing. Some of our favorite construction videos of all time involve more machines than you would think could fit in one space, like this 10 hour demolition of a Canadian Overpass or this video of 116 excavators working side-by-side in China. Very few jobsites have the luxury of throwing a bunch of machines and labor on a project, but, if performed correctly, it can get a job done pretty quickly.
China builds infrastructure…and some of the world’s most impressive infrastructure, at that. While the United States’ latest grade for bridges, roads, and other transportation systems was a D+, China keeps plugging away on upgrades and new construction. Some scholars have started to question China’s spending on infrastructure, some going as far to say that it’s forcing itself into financial ruin, but, as of right now, there are no signs of slowing down.
Just because construction work happens every day, doesn’t make it any less thrilling of a job. Some people like to climb mountains, others like to climb building that are under construction and bridges that need maintained. Some people don’t like looking over balconies a few stories off the ground, yet many times construction and maintenance workers have to actually do work while dangling 500 feet up in the air.
There are people who spend their lives searching for Big Foot or the Lock Ness Monster, but sometimes humans only find legends when they’re not specifically looking for them. Reports have surfaced this week of a construction crew in Altamira, Para in Brazil which has apparently found the largest snake in history on their job site.
Last year, we shared a video of 6 Scottish high rise buildings that were imploded simultaneously, which was one of our favorite demolition videos of 2015. The problem, however, was that only 4 of them actually fell completely, causing delays as crews had to use high reach machinery to complete the job.
The final product of record breaking structures get a lot of publicity, but what the public doesn’t see is the years of hard work that went into breaking that record. Construction workers are the unsung heroes projects, rarely getting the recognition that they deserve. Last week, we showed you the amazing footage of the tallest and longest glass bridge, which is a 1410 foot long (430m) and 984 foot tall (300m) fear inducing tourist attraction in China’s Avatar Mountains.