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.
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.
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.
Last Thursday, every construction professional’s worst nightmare happened. Lives were lost, both construction workers and civilians, by way of the catastrophic collapse of FIU’s under construction pedestrian bridge. We shared what we knew as of late Thursday night, but since this is not only a tragedy directly related to construction, but also a huge learning opportunity for the entire industry, I wanted to make sure we continued to follow and update on the story as it develops.
Terrible tragedy struck Florida International University’s (FIU) campus yesterday when a newly installed pedestrian bridge collapsed onto the road below, killing at least 4 and severely injuring many more.
It’s pretty amazing the work that can get done when a lot of resources and money are thrown at one project. Past examples of this include a gigantic sinkhole that was repaired in Japan in just under a week, the complete emergency rebuild of Atlanta’s I-85 overpass that was completed a month ahead of schedule, and this video of 116 excavators working side by side to demolish a 1,640 foot long overpass overnight.
When anyone sees a hard hat, they typically immediate associate it with construction. It’s the ultimate symbol of safety on the job site. We all know we should wear them, but it’s easy to get annoyed with the minor inconvenience that they cause and forget about the extreme consequences that could result if a falling object catches us when we aren’t wearing one.
Cameras are EVERYWHERE these days. They’re on sites documenting the full construction process of your project, they’re on projects taking 360 degree progress footage, and most importantly, they’re in your pocket on your smartphone. Having a camera in your pocket at all times can be a good or bad thing, especially for employers, because not only can it make lives much easier for communication and documentation purposes, but it also gives people the chance to show the world when things go absolutely terribly.
With cranes being on many construction sites, it’s easy for workers to get complacent. Hundreds or thousands of construction materials can be lifted by cranes throughout the project, but all it takes is one time for a disaster to occur.