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…
If a 1-12,000 pound wrecking ball free falling from a crane can demolish a concrete building, just imagine the damage it can do to a moving minivan. The result, which you can watch below, isn’t pretty. The minivan never stands a chance.
Depending on your reaction to the video, this next paragraph may either be a relief or a total bummer. The fact is, a quick Google search revealed that the video above is from the set of the movie “The Other Guys,” which starred Will Ferrell and Mark Wahlberg. Though it may be a staged accident on a movie set, it’s yet another example of the size and strength of equipment throughout the job site. Much like this mining truck running over an SUV for a safety video, when construction equipment is mixed with the public, catastrophes can happen. Being aware of your surroundings can make all the difference.
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.