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.
Buildings are demolished all the time in order to make way for new construction. The buildings that are demolished have usually lived out their useful life and are no longer functional. Recently a demolition video resurfaced, which shows a 27 story building in China being imploded. The strange thing is that, since it was finished in 1999, the building had never even been used.
There are a lot of people that would be pretty unhappy with whoever tears down a 98 foot tall, 105 year old tree to make room for a building expansion. In order for most projects to work financially, however, many trees are uprooted and replaced with smaller trees. That’s not what happened with what is believed to be the state of Idaho’s largest sequoia tree, however.
As recently highlighted by several multi-story building fires, contractors should always be prepared in the event a fire starts on a job site. There have been dozens multi-story building fires in the past few years and many were started when the building was topped out. In most cases, the project was completely destroyed, leaving developers and owners to deal with years of delays from insurance claims. A massive five-alarm fire at an Oakland construction site is one of the more recent examples.
Two construction workers in Sarasota, Florida were recently trapped 15 stories in the air after one of the lines on their suspended scaffolding snapped. One of the two men was able to be pulled to safety by some co-workers on site, but the second was stuck on the scaffold for an hour before the fire department could rescue him.
Since it opened its doors in 2010, the Burj Khalifa has been the world’s tallest building, one of the most coveted titles in all of the construction industry. If all goes according to plan, the Burj’s reign at the top will come to an end when Saudi Arabia’s Jeddah Tower is completed in 2020.
A nearby office worker caught video of a dramatic demolition that showed the remains of an 11 story building collapse on top of the excavator performing the demolition.
Strange things are found on job sites across the globe all the time. We’ve shared plenty of stories in the past about the odd things construction workers have discovered, like human remains, 200,000 year old mammoth bones, ancient roman treasure, and more. When contractors dig in the dirt, there’s always a chance of uncovering history. Sometimes, though, the things found can be extremely dangerous.
In order to get the bad taste of last week’s botched demolition, in which an adjacent building also got destroyed in the process, we needed to share a highly successful one. Priestly Demolition, a Canadian demolition contractor, has been the subject of our articles in the past and the company has even won awards for the best demolition in the world.
While placing concrete on the second floor of a future seven-story mixed use building in Oakland, California, the concrete forms suddenly gave way, sending around 20 workers 10 to 15 feet below with the wet concrete. News reports explain the job site went into a panic, understandably so, and co-workers rushed to the scene to help.
Mistakes during demolitions happen. Sometimes contractors knock down the wrong buildings, other times the explosives used don’t knock the building over, and other demolitions are carried out with a complete lack of regard for human life. As fun as they are to perform and watch, they’re inherently dangerous and there should be a plan in place in case things go wrong.