Whether you're feeling sad, mad, happy, or indifferent, there are few things more satisfying to watch than a good demolition video. It's destruction for a purpose and the result is a blank slate for the next construction project. There were plenty of good demolition videos in 2016, but we narrowed the list down to our 11 favorite and we hope you enjoy.
Let us know what your favorite videos were in the comment section below!
Wrecking ball demolitions are becoming more and more rare, because as the industry’s heavy machinery and explosives have become more precise, the need for wrecking balls has slowly diminished. This particular wrecking ball demolition took place in Bath, Maine as part of a replacement of the Route 1 viaduct, which carries an average of 30,000 cars per day.
In order to appreciate the level of expertise needed to properly conduct a demolition, it’s good to show the ones that do go exactly as planned. In October, the 93 year old Broadway Bridge in Little Rock, Arkansas, refused to fall even after it was lined with explosives. According to reports, the explanation given for the failure was that the bridge collapsed into itself. Nevertheless, the crews from Massman Construction had to get to work to make sure the bridge fell, as it could have been a major safety hazard. The crews brought in a crane to help nudge the structure into the water. 5 hours later, the structure had fallen and the deadline to clean up the bridge started.
Elizabeth Court, Churchill Court, and Walter Robinson Court, as these three flats were called, were located in Blackpol, UK, which is on the Irish Sea Coast. The three towers have stood since the 1960’s and 70’s and, according to BBC News, many of the nearby residents hated them, while others were sad to see them go. The demolition will make way for around 100 homes, which are set to be completed by spring of 2018. Sometimes it’s hard to believe the large distance debris can travel. In the video below, you can even hear some people jovially yelling “Run away!” as the cloud approaches. The dust settled a couple minutes later, revealing the pile of rubble left behind by the buildings.
The Norfolk Court Flats, in Scotland, were built in the 1970s and were home to roughly 800 tenants for most of its lifetime. In order to re-develop the land the flats sat on to make way for 201 homes, the building had to be demolished by way of implosion. Unfortunately for Alebbio Rail, what he thought was the perfect spot to get a video of the demolished proved to be wrong, but his video may have been made popular due to the failure. Just as the explosions began a bus full of people stopped right in front of the camera and pulled away when all that was left was a cloud of smoke. You can watch that video below:
The Cow Green Multi-Storey Car Park was located in Halifax, which is located in West Yorkshire, UK. It stood prominently in the city since the 1970s, but, according to ITV News, it was closed three years ago after it failed a structural inspection. The video below, uploaded by the Calderdale Council, shows the rough condition of the interior of the parking garage, followed by the implosion. In it, you’ll see black tarps covering the bottom 3 stories of the garage, which was used to catch a lot of the debris after the explosions. The building was successfully demolished into a cloud of dust, while simultaneously setting off a few car alarms.
The 24 story Monaco Tower at the Riviera Casino in Las Vegas was built in 1955 and became the first high rise building on the Las Vegas strip. On opening day, the casino hosted Liberace, who became its first resident performer. Not only was it a signature piece to the Las Vegas skyline in its heyday, it was also featured in many beloved movies, such as the original Ocean’s 11 starring the Rat Pack, Martin Scorsese’s Casino, Showgirls, and The Hangover.
Las Vegas knows how to throw a party, even for an old rundown building in its last few seconds on Earth. The city can’t just demolish a historic casino with some boring old explosives, they have to put on an epic fireworks show beforehand with a 10 seconds countdown made out of fireworks.
The Merafield Bridge, near Plymouth, England was built in 1969 and has suffered from Alkalai-Silica Reaction, which is commonly referred to as “concrete cancer.” Alkalai-Silica Reaction creates spalling due to a gel being formed inside the concrete that expands with water. As the gel expands, pressure builds up in the structure and the concrete cracks. The demolition of the old bridge is part of a $9.1 million (£6.3 million) project that will also include a brand new 262 foot long (80m) bridge. The new bridge will require 2,503 tons of concrete and 401 tons of steel.
In order to bring down the old bridge, crews drilled 278 holes and packed in 110 pounds (50kg) of explosives, according to the Daily Mail. The end result was a middle of the night fireworks show followed by a giant cloud of smoke.
Most of the time in construction, you can’t go forward without going backwards first. Such is the case at the site of the future One Vanderbilt Tower in New York City, which required the demolition of 5 different buildings within an entire street block. The new tower is expected to reach 1,501 feet (458m) tall and contain 1,750,000 square feet (162,600 square meters) of space. When complete, the One Vanderbilt Tower will be one of the 50 tallest buildings in the world. Below is the demolition video of the entire block:
Built in 1943, old US-377/SH-99 Washita River Bridge in Oklahoma was finally damaged beyond repair due to spring flooding early last year and had to be demolished. This video was extra special, because it was filmed in super slow motion with a GoPro camera, so it’s easy to see all of the explosives go off.
According to GoPro, who uploaded Eric Leslie’s video, the demolition specialists used 600 pounds of explosives to take the bridge down. The specialists also took extra precautions by setting up seismograph machines and taking pictures of nearby houses in case the blast damaged any houses, reported KXII News.
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 to make way for a new subway system. 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. 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
The Greystone Park Psychiatric Hospital first opened its doors in 1876 as a 675,000 square foot facility in Morris Plains, New Jersey. At its peak, it served 7,764 patients at one time. The hospital had been completely unoccupied since 2008, when it was ordered to be closed due to poor conditions and overcrowding. The hospital had been marred in the past by extremely overcrowded conditions, reports of sexual abuse of patients by employees, violence, and patient suicides. Demolition began on the deteriorated building in May of 2015 and finished in November of 2015.
The demolition of the historic building was not without its critics, however. A preservation group, called Preserve Greystone, fought for years to stop the demolition of the building and hoped that it could be converted to housing and office space. After receiving several proposals, New Jersey Governor Chris Christie and his staff determined that none of the proposals were money makers and approved the demolition.
Drone footage of the 7 month long demolition was captured by Jody Johnson, known on Youtube as GlideBy JJ. After the demolition was completed, she had a vision to play the footage in reverse, which was edited by Lisa Marie Blohm. The film has also been selected to be shown at the NYC Drone Film Festival in March of 2016.