“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.
Bridges are being demolished and replaced all across the country, due to America’s increase of failing infrastructure, which is leading to the development of some interesting time saving techniques in certain areas. After being deemed structurally deficient in 2010, plans began to replace the old Broadway Bridge and on September 28, 2016, the bridge was officially closed. On Tuesday, October 11, it was officially time for Little Rock residents to say goodbye to the trusted bridge, but they were given a few more hours than expected.
After structurally weakening the steel bridge, explosive were strategically placed throughout the structure. As the fireworks started, there were some cheers from the crowd, followed by plenty of laughs, as the smoke cleared and the bridge was still left standing. According to reports, the explanation given for the failure was that the bridge collapsed into itself. Nevertheless, the crews from Massman Construction had to get to work to make sure the bridge fell, as it could have been a major safety hazard. The crews brought in a crane to help nudge the structure into the water. 5 hours later, the structure had fallen and the deadline to clean up the bridge started.
The now demolished bridge is being replaced by a new one to connect downtown Little Rock to North Little Rock. Massman was awarded the project for $98.4 million, which was the low bid, but also resulted in the shortest schedule. The bridge will only be closed for a total of 6 months, even after initial estimates were 2 years.
You can watch 3 different videos of the demolitions below. The first, by Robert Cossio, shows the failed demolition. The second, by voigtlanderr2, shows the crane in the water forcing the structure to fall 5 hours later. The third, by Ben P, is a true test of endurance, as it’s the entire 5 hour live stream of the demolition process.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Construction Junkie has shared a lot of demolition videos. Typically, people line up waiting for the moment when the building explodes with their eyes peeled and cameras ready, just waiting for the perfect video. This video, however, is much different.
Early this year, a landslide caused catastrophic failure to the Pfeiffer Canyon Bridge along California’s famous Highway 1. California Transit officials closed the bridge on February 21st and announced it would be demolished and replaced. Time is of the essence as US News reports that over 400 residents are stranded on one side of the bridge and helicopters have had to bring in food for them. The residents are still able to use the footpaths in the area to cross the canyon.
There’s no doubt that bridge demolitions by implosion are extremely fun to watch, but the fireworks show and big splash into the water below can sometimes overshadow other demolition projects that don’t allow implosion. Priestly Demolition Inc. (PDI) recently won two 2016 World Demolition Awards for one of those projects where implosion was not an option and they have also produced an incredibly detailed video of how they did it.
Since Construction Junkie was conceived in 2015, we’ve seen a lot of construction equipment flip for some really stupid reasons. Like this crane, this other crane, and this third crane dropping a bulldozer. Those are just some of the ones caught on video and they should be enough to convince you not to go out of your way to do dangerous things with a crane.
Rowlett, Texas was hit hard by a tornado in 2015 and the city is still dealing with the effects of it. In the horrible storm, 13 people were killed and over 400 buildings were damaged or destroyed, according to CBS DFW. In a story we covered last year, one Rowlett woman also had her house mistakenly knocked down by a demolition company when addresses got mixed up after the tornado.
We saw some pretty awesome demolition videos in 2016, like this super slow motion bridge demolition and this video of 116 excavators working side by side to demolish an overpass overnight, but this new video is already on top of the leaderboard for best demolitions of 2017.