Early this year, a landslide caused catastrophic failure to the Pfeiffer Canyon Bridge along California’s famous Highway 1. California Transit officials closed the bridge on February 21st and announced it would be demolished and replaced. Time is of the essence as US News reports that over 400 residents are stranded on one side of the bridge and helicopters have had to bring in food for them. The residents are still able to use the footpaths in the area to cross the canyon.
Last week, crews made efforts to bring the bridge down with a wrecking ball, but technical difficulties were not allowing the ball to free fall correctly, so there was not enough force to force the bridge to fall. Site restrictions, including power lines, did not allow them to swing the ball.
After the failure of the wrecking ball, contractors brought in a hoe ram to complete the demolition this week. The video below, shared by Big Sur, California on Facebook, shows the final seconds of the demolition, as well as some great helicopter shots of the aftermath. Originally the replacement bridge, which is being constructed by Golden State Bridge, according to The Mercury News, was supposed to take 9 months to open. Caltrans has recently announced that the new bridge should now be open by September, cutting 3 months off the project.
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 47 year old crane operator is facing charges of driving while intoxicated and leaving the scene of an accident after driving a truck mounted crane into several vehicles on the Long Island Expressway in New York.
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.
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.
Construction crews were preparing to replace window glazing on the 47-story tall Wellhouse na Leninskom tower in Moscow, Russia, when a cable snapped just as the window was about to reach the top of the structure
It’s a tale (tail) as old as time: a horse walks into a construction trench, gets stuck, has to be lifted out of it by a helicopter. The trench didn’t appear to be that deep, so I don’t think OSHA is going to need to get involved with this one.
For the third time in a year, construction workers have had to be rescued while dangling mid-air by fire rescue teams in Southern Florida. Last year, there were two incidents in Sarasota, Florida that involved failed suspended scaffolding in as many months. Just last week, another incident in Palmetto Bay required the Fire Department to intervene.
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.
Crane collapses on construction jobsites are usually pretty terrifying, especially when the jobsite is full of workers. A construction site in St. Petersburg, Florida got extremely lucky when a large construction crane collapsed and narrowly missed several running workers.
This video is a bit of a throwback, but I recently came across it on the interwebs for the first time and thought it was worth a share.