Construction Junkie’s motto is that it’s not a party unless you gather up 115 of your closest friends and their excavators and wreak some havoc on an old highway overpass. Apparently, some people in China know how to party.
In late August, starting around 10:30pm local time, crews began an overnight demolition of a 1,640 foot long two-lane overpass in Nanchang, China. This crew didn’t use some boring old dynamite to bring this overpass done, they used sheer brute force by way of a massive amount of excavators (116, to be exact) chipping away at the structure all night. Full disclosure, we think dynamite demolitions are pretty awesome too.
It only took the crews about 56 total hours to complete the demolition and clean up the mess, which is probably a task that only 116 heavy pieces of construction equipment can accomplish. I can only hope that nobody lives in the surrounding buildings, there’s no way anyone could get any sleep with all this going on.
The 24-year-old overpass needed to be demolished in order to make way for a new subway system, according to Business Insider. This demolition actually reminds us of two other demolition videos that we found equally spectacular, like this 2015 overnight demolition of a 6 lane overpass and this Chinese overpass in Beijing that was removed and replaced within 43 hours.
It’s pretty cool to see over a hundred excavators working in unison to complete the demolition. We’re sure the residents were extremely happy that the work didn’t disrupt traffic for Monday rush hour, as well.
Video below was shared by CCTV+ on Youtube:
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.