There are about two ways to bring down a structure: piece by piece or in a fiery blaze of destruction. The only problem with the second choice is that it’s typically followed by weeks, months, or even years of cleanup, but it makes for a great viewing experience.
The Saskatoon Traffic Bridge in, you guessed it, Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada, stood mightily for 108 long years. The 951 foot (289.8 meters) long bridge connected Victoria Avenue to 3rd Avenue across the South Saskatchewan River. In 2010, the Saskatoon Traffic Bridge was closed due to severe corrosion and will be replaced by a newer and larger bridge by 2018.
On Sunday, January 10th, demolition of the old Saskatoon Bridge began with a bang, or, multiple bangs, rather. Two of the bridge’s spans were located directly above dry land, so they were subject to implosion. The final span, which sits over the river, will be demolished at a later time. As the explosions went off in unison, the two spans fell straight down to the ground and were quickly covered by a cloud of smoke.
The video below, by EpicJib Aerial Media, shows the full speed implosion and the slow motion implosion right afterwards.
We here at Construction Junkie headquarters enjoy a good demolition video. We’ve shared implosion videos, timelapse videos, and even demolition fails, but since our inception, we have yet to share a wrecking ball demolition video. Growing up, I thought my adult life was going to be littered with wrecking balls (and anvils, for that matter), because of all the cartoons I watched, but as our industry’s heavy machinery and explosives have become more precise, the need for wrecking balls has slowly diminished.
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.
“They don’t build ‘em like they used to,” as people love to say. That phrase could definitely be applicable to the 93 year old Broadway Bridge in Little Rock, Arkansas, that refused to fall even after it was lined with explosives. This certainly isn’t the first time a demolition has failed and it’s probably not the last.
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.
Chimney stacks once lined many city skylines across America and Europe and became extremely popular during the 1800’s Industrial Revolution, which began the shift from hand made products to machine made. Also known as flue-gas stacks, the chimneys are used as an exhaust method for industrial furnaces, steam boilers, and other similar heat and smoke producers. The concept of the flue-gas stack was developed in the mid-1600s, before the concept expanded some 200 years later.
It doesn’t seem like any high rise flat is safe in the UK these days, as another set of them has been demolished to make way for a new housing complex. 6 high rises were demolished simultaneously in Glasgow Scotland last year, another flat in Glasgow was imploded in Glasgow this year, two more in England took several attempts to bring them down in April, and yet another flat was demolished in Glasgow in May, but that video was hilariously ruined by a bus.
Wrecking balls got a big publicity boost in 2013 when Miley Cyrus released her hit song, but, they’re not really that popular with regards to demolition. Wrecking balls are slowly becoming extinct in the construction industry, making way for more precise hydraulic excavators and explosives. Made of forged steel, wrecking balls typically range between 1,000 to 12,000 pounds. Needless to say, they’re big, they’re heavy, and they don’t belong around operating streets and buildings. Which leads us to the video below…
Well, it’s certainly a good time to be a demolition contractor in Detroit, Michigan right now. After receiving $50 million dollars in order to fight blight within the city limits, the city has successfully demolished 10,171 buildings (as of July 24th), with thousands more to go.
Las Vegas knows how to throw a party, even for an old rundown building in its last few seconds on Earth. The city can’t just demolish a historic casino with some boring old explosives, they have to put on an epic fireworks show beforehand with a 10 seconds countdown made out of fireworks. That’s right, there’s so much entertainment in that city that a normal implosion isn’t good enough for them. We don’t mind though, the video below had our eyes peeled for 5 minutes.
It’s Friday, so what better way to end the week than some explosives bringing down an old residential high rise? It seems as though residential buildings are being torn down all over Glasgow, Scotland, as we just saw 6 buildings implode simultaneously (well, almost) late last year. While those 6 towers had reportedly become a hotbed for crime and drug use, this latest demolition in Roystonhill, Glasgow is making way for around hundreds of new homes in the area simply due to a “decline in popularity of the flats.”