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.
The cool thing about all of these demolitions is that Detroit is extremely transparent with the information, even setting up an interactive map with all of the completed demolitions and all of the ongoing and planned demolitions. Just in 2016 so far, 2,605 demolition have been completed and another 599 are already under contract. The map has embedded and colored dots all over the city and clicking on each one brings up a menu of details about the demolition, including the contractor, contract amount, and date.
Since the demolitions have begun, contractors have been awarded of $90 million in contracts, with over 25% of that being awarded to minority owned businesses. The average cost for each demolition completed thus far is $12,510. Archpaper reports that another 7,000 demolitions are planned in 2017 alone and the city has a goal of 40,000 total demolitions by 2022. Not only have the demolitions helped increase property values in the area, but Mayor Mike Duggan also stated that they have reduced the number of building fires by 25%. Abandoned houses are typically magnets for arson and crime.
If you'd like to submit a bid for an upcoming demolition, you can find more information about that by clicking here.
If you’d like to check out the interactive demolition map, which is updated daily at 5pm, click here.
In January of 2018, ten construction workers were killed and another eight were injured when a bridge spanning the Chirajara canyon in Columbia partially collapsed. That collapse has since been blamed on a poor design, reports have stated. Last week, the remaining sections of the bridge were demolished in dramatic fashion.
A couple weeks ago, we shared a list of the 100 tallest buildings to ever be demolished. One of the most interesting things that I learned while researching for that article was that although Detroit’s Greater Department Hudson Store was not the tallest building on the list (it was #21), it was the tallest on the list to actually be imploded.
In February, JP Morgan Chased announced their plans to demolish their current 52-story headquarters located in Manhattan. Turns out, when that demolition is complete, it will also break the record for the tallest building ever voluntarily demolished.
One thing’s for sure, the only thing better than one structure being demolished is two structures being demolished at the same time. Late last week, a decommissioned Florida Power Plant saw to the implosion of two 462 feet tall cooling towers in spectacular fashion.
Demolitions by implosion seems like the easiest way to knock down a structure, but there is so much preparation that goes into it that even the slightest mistake can have a huge impact. When smokestacks are demolished correctly, it can be a thing of beauty, like when these two silos in Scotland hit each other midair or when this asbestos filled stack was precisely demolished to fall into a pool of water. Things didn’t go so smoothly for demolition crews in Denmark last week, however.
As we’ve seen in the past, demolitions aren’t all about implosions. There are still many manual demolitions that are carried out by skilled excavator operators. The Victoria Street Bridge in Ontario, Canada is a recent example of that.
It’s been a while since we have shared a demolition video on Construction Junkie. We recently discussed a very high profile demolition project, the tallest voluntary demolition on record, which is schedule to start next year and how it is expected to happen, but no videos. Between the cold weather in most of the country and the general lack of interesting demolitions happening, it’s good to finally be back to feeling normal around here.
A couple weeks ago, JP Morgan Chase announced that they planned to demolish their existing 52-story Manhattan headquarters, which is believed to be the tallest voluntary demolition in history, in order to build a 70 story, 2.5 million square foot building in its place. The move left preservationists upset at the idea of scrapping the nearly 60 year old building and others wondering how exactly they were going to safely demolish a building that tall in such a congested and busy area.
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.