The world’s infrastructure is crumbling, so we’re seeing a rise in bridges that need to be replaced. That’s good news for the companies that build those bridges and for those of us that enjoy a good demolition video. People have certainly gotten more creative with how these demolitions are filmed and this latest video your about to see gives you the ability to see the same demolition from 4 different angles and in different speeds.
The Merafield Bridge, near Plymouth, England was built in 1969 and has suffered from Alkalai-Silica Reaction, which is commonly referred to as “concrete cancer.” Alkalai-Silica Reaction creates spalling due to a gel being formed inside the concrete that expands with water. As the gel expands, pressure builds up in the structure and the concrete cracks. The demolition of the old bridge is part of a $9.1 million (£6.3 million) project that will also include a brand new 262 foot long (80m) bridge. The new bridge will require 2,503 tons of concrete and 401 tons of steel.
In order to bring down the old bridge, crews drilled 278 holes and packed in 110 pounds (50kg) of explosives, according to the Daily Mail. The end result was a middle of the night fireworks show followed by a giant cloud of smoke. You can watch the incredible footage, uploaded to Youtube by SWNS TV, below:
No matter how fun demolitions and demolition videos might be, there’s an inherent danger to performing them that cannot be overlooked. Just last year, a different parking garage collapsed during a demolition in Houston, Texas, which landed on one of the excavators performing the work. Thankfully, no one was injured in that collapse, but it could have been much worse.
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.