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.
BUT FEAR NOT, that all ends today, thanks to the city of Bath, Maine. The Route 1 viaduct, which has stood in Bath for about 59 years, has seen its final days and is in process of being torn down. It spans over 1,300 feet in total overtop of local Bath streets, carrying an average of 30,000 vehicles per day. Much to the chagrin of the residents who use the bridge or live near it, it will take nearly 8 months to tear the existing bridge down and replace it with the new one. That means 8 months of bad traffic and tons of noise. Officially, work began in May of 2016, but the viaduct remained open until October.
According to WSCH 6, the original bridge took 720 days to build, but contractors will only have 220 days to completely replace it. That’s a significant improvement but many DOTs around the country and cities around the world are embracing more pre-fabricated designs to greatly reduce the impact to traffic and local business. For instance, the Connecticut DOT found a way to reduce a 2 year bridge replacement down to 28 days of traffic interruption. That’s something I think we can all get behind, as working more offsite keeps workers much safer.
On Tuesday night, another portion of Route 1 was taken down by our old friend, the wrecking ball. In a video shared to Facebook by the Bath Police Department, you can see three powerful strikes to the already weakened section. I would hate to live near this area, but I love watching the video.
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.
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.