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.
Construction sites can be a difficult place to work, for more than one reason. There are plenty of job site hazards to avoid on a normal project, but those issues are compounded when your co-workers are acting recklessly. As smartphones have become commonplace on site and in public, job site videos have also become increasingly available. Many of these videos below can raise awareness for how not to act, especially when heavy equipment is involved.
If there’s something strange in your neighborhood, who ya gonna call? Ghostbusters, obviously. But, If there’s a large animal stuck in the ground, who ya gonna call? Construction workers. Earlier this year, construction workers were able to rescue a small deer that had gotten stuck in some pretty deep mud with an excavator, but just recently construction crews were called in to rescue a much more terrifying animal: a gigantic bear.
Last week, there was a giant hole in the middle of a Fukuoka, Japan street, spanning 98 feet long by 88 feet wide by 50 feet deep, due to underground subway work causing a sinkhole. Less than 7 days later, all the utility lines were repaired, the hole was filled, the asphalt laid, and the road is back open. It was a true testament to what a considerable amount of manpower and money can do in a short period of time.
One of the challenges with construction is determining how your work can and will affect the existing conditions surrounding your job site. That’s why it’s increasingly important to not only perform proper due diligence procedures, but also react to the findings. That, unfortunately, doesn’t always happen and could potentially be what caused a massive sinkhole in Fukuoka, Japan, last week.
There’s no doubt that Liebherr, the popular manufacturer of cranes used throughout the world, works on some of the coolest projects. Last year, the company shared a video of one of their cranes working 10,000 in the air on top of the Wetterstein Mountains, which also happens to be the highest point in Germany. They also created one of our favorite construction videos ever when they displayed one of their gigantic cranes lifting three other cranes at the same time. This time, Liebherr is showing off their swarm of 58 tower cranes gracing the skies of the new largest airport in the world in Istanbul.
Imagine working on a building for an entire year, only to come to your jobsite and find that it had burned to the ground. That was the reality for a construction crew in Oakland last week, when a massive five-alarm fire started overnight and completely destroyed all of their hard work.
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.
The SLJ900 was the 580 ton Chinese bridge girder erection machine that almost broke the internet in 2015. Videos of the massive piece of equipment have been viewed millions of times and the process has mesmerized viewers from across the globe. Now, the video has even prompted someone to build a working model of the machine.
The NFL is a cash cow and nothing makes that more evident than the soaring costs to build the newest NFL stadiums. The past four stadiums to open were the Minnesota Vikings’ US Bank Stadium (watch timelapse here), the San Francisco 49ers’ Levi’s Stadium, the New York Jets/Giants’ MetLife Stadium, and the Dallas Cowboys’ AT&T Stadium. All four surpassed $1 Billion in construction cost. The first stadium to open after the Millennium was the Cincinnati Bengals’ Paul Brown Stadium, which only cost a miniscule (relatively) $455 million ($626 million in 2016 dollars) to build. The oldest stadium still in use by any NFL team is the Oakland Raiders’ Coliseum, which was completed in 1966 and cost $25.5 million ($186 million in 2016 dollars). That stadium also spent $200 million ($302 million in 2016 dollars) in renovations in 1995 and 1996. As you can see, dollars spent on NFL stadiums have increased significantly in the past few decades and there’s no end in sight.
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.