I’m not sure that there are many things more satisfying to watch than a good demolition video and 2015 was full of them. Emerging technologies, like drones, only make the views even better. We’ve compiled our favorite demolition videos from the past year, from the incredible to the heart stopping. Enjoy!
9. Three Year Long Bridge Demolition Timelapse
Not every demolition can be completed in a weekend and this 64 year old, 4 lane, 6,630 foot long Port Mann Bridge bridge took roughly 3 years to complete. The entire demolition was documented in a timelapse video, which you can watch below.
8. Historic Detroit Hotel Implosion
In order to make room for the Detroit Red Wing’s new hockey arena, this 13 story, 81 year old hotel had to be imploded. 200 pounds of dynamite were required to take down the Park Avenue Hotel, which was built in 1924. TheGadgetGuy1 caught a great view of the collapse with his drone and shared it for our viewing pleasure on Youtube.
7. Historic Michigan Power Plant Implosion
93 years is a long time and this Marysville, Michigan lived a long and productive life before being imploded in November of 2015. The “Mighty Marysville,” as it was known, provided a peak load of 167 megawatts of electricity and employed as much as 250 people at one time. A development company had to remove the building for their planned shopping center, condominiums, and hotel. Video of the implosion was captured by CarWarz.
Full story: Implosion of Historic Michigan Power Plant
6. Smoke Stack Collapse
This video went viral almost immediately after it was posted to Youtube, and for good reason. It’s pretty incredible to watch and the excavator operator is lucky to be alive after it. Om the video, contractor Tim Phifer is attempting to knock down a 112 year old, 2.6 million pound smoke stack that used to accompany a mill. After 2 failed implosion attempts, the structure collapsed right on top of Phifer’s excavator, completely destroying it. Phifer was able to walk away unharmed, but Youtuber Kevin Anderson’s drone was able to catch the collapse on video.
5. Plano, TX Water Tower
It’s not often that you get to see a water tower be demolished and this video and accompanying post happened to be our most popular article of 2015. Much like a lumberjack chopping down a tree, this 178 foot tall Plano, TX water tower was weakened on one side and “tipped” to bring it down.
Full story: Have You Ever Seen a Water Tower Fall Over?
4. Six Scottish High Rises Imploded Simultaneously
Demolishing one building is fun enough, but six at the same time?? That’s six times as fun, even if a couple of them failed to fall completely down. Four of the Glasgow, Scotland high rise residential units fell as they were supposed to, but the fifth left 13 stories still standing and the sixth left 11 stories left. The cleanup after these implosions is going to take an additional 2 years.
The video below, uploaded to Youtube by Green hand gang, has some NSFW language at the 9 second mark.
3. Ten Hour Highway Overpass Demolition
Up against a time crunch and threats of liquidated damages from the city for any delays, Priestly Demolition successfully completed a demolition and clean-up of a 6 lane highway overpass in Ontario, Canada in 10 hours. The company employed eleven pieces of heavy machinery all night: 6 excavators (2 shears and 4 hammers), 3 loaders, and 2 bulldozers.
2. Chinese Overpass Demolished and Replaced in 43 Hours
Demolishing and cleaning up a highway overpass in 43 hours is tough enough, but this Chinese company had to also completely replace the highway and open it back up to traffic within that same time frame. The new overpass was prefabricated and rolled over to its final spot, which you can watch in this incredible timelapse video.
1. Two Power Station Chimneys Crash Into Each Other
This one is my personal favorite demolition video of 2015, because it not only involves explosions, but it’s so precise and perfect that it could also be considered art. The demoltion contractor, BAM, not only had to keep the two 487 feet tall stacks from falling into a nearby building, but also had to keep them both from falling into the water. Not only did they do both things, but they also managed to have the towers crash into each other before falling to the ground.
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.