The Avondale Mill Smoke Stack in Pell City, Alabama stood tall for over 112 years before it was set to be demolished last week. It’s accompanying mill, which measured 225 by 640, closed in 2006 and was demolished for scrap 2 years later. The smoke stack gave crews a bit of trouble, as it took 3 attempts to take it down, with the last one almost killing the excavator operator in the process.
After two attempts at imploding the 158 foot tall, 2.6 million pound smoke stack, crews had no luck taking the structure down. ON the third attempt, they brought in an excavator to weaken the base to tip it over. That process worked, but the tower fell directly onto the excavator, with the operator still inside. There was a moment of panic as several onlookers rushed to the get the man out of the cabin, but, in the end, the operator escaped without a scratch.
The operator, Tim Phifer, told WIAT news, “the cab was made for that thing to turn over on top of it, I was safer inside the cab than coming out of it.”
The day following the collapse, OSHA launched an investigation to see how the incident could have been avoided.
The video below, uploaded to Youtube by Kevin Anderson, shows drone footage and an amazing view of the demolition.
Full story: VIDEO: Pell City smokestack collapses on excavator | WIAT News
This year saw more videos with environmental considerations taken into account, especially over waterways. Instead of imploding entire bridges, the part that spanned over top of the waterway were manually removed. I've also grown an appreciation for in-depth footage of demolitions that occurred under some interesting conditions. Some of the videos below show some extreme creativity to overcome obstacles.
On Sunday, demolition contractors tried to bring down the upper portion of the Pontiac Silverdome, former home to the Detroit Lions, but several of the explosives didn’t ignite and the structure was still upright after the smoke cleared. After videos of the failed demolition were posted online, the internet had a field day.
The Pontiac Silverdome was the home to the NFL’s Detroit Lions from 1975-2001 and NBA’s Detroit Pistons from 1978-1988. After the Lions opened their new Stadium in 2002, the Silverdome was passed around several times before it closed for the last time in 2013. Earlier this year, the building was condemned and the first round of demolition by implosion was scheduled for Sunday, December 3.
Getting the perfect view of a major building demolition can get you millions of hits, or even better, shared by us right here on Construction Junkie. Have your video get epic-ly photobombed and you’ll get even more views and definitely shared by us.
I don’t think there is anyone in the construction industry that has a better marketing department than Priestly Demolition, a demolition specialty contractor based in Ontario, Canada. Their Youtube channel is filled with high quality demolition videos in the form of timelapse videos and even a 24 minute long, highly detailed video of a bridge demolition so impressive it won awards for best in the world. Implosion videos are a great source of entertainment in their own right, but the videos that Priestly put out are not only entertaining, but also great for education purposes.
For almost 80 years, the Old Kosciuszko Bridge connected Brooklyn and Queens in New York. Much like many other bridges its age, it is being replaced due to capacity issues and deterioration. When it was completed in 1939, it was built for 10,000 cars per day. Unfortunately for the people who needed to use that bridge that past few decades, around 180,000 cars used it.
New demolition videos are always fun to watch. You know what’s even better, though? A bunch of demolitions all at once.
While being prepared for demolition, the Grand Avenue Bridge in Glenwood Springs, Colorado unexpectedly collapsed to the railroad tracks below. Thankfully, no injuries were reported, but the local police chief said that workers had to flee the scene once the bridge section started to fall.
Smoke stack demolitions are always fun to watch because they typically stand much taller than the buildings surrounding them, giving cameras great views of the carnage. They don’t always go well, like when a 2.6 million pound brick stack fell directly on top of an excavator (the operator was fine, by the way), but they’re always dramatic.
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.