Silverdome implosion fails

The Pontiac Silverdome in Detroit failed to implode during an initial attempt on Sunday, Dec. 3, 2017. Contracted demolition company Adamo Group, Detroit, says the cord that was meant to set off shape charges was tampered with.

The loud explosion heard by the crowd watching the demolition was what Rick Cuppetilli, executive vice president of Adamo, calls a “kicker charge.” The eight shape charges were meant to cut the steel, but did not detonate. A second attempt on Monday, Dec. 4, 2017, succeeded in bringing down the upper deck of the stadium.

Cuppetilli says limited time to prepare for the implosion and possible vandalism were two potential culprits for the failed first explosion. Trespassers were caught on-site Dec. 1, 2017, and were chased out by police and security.

Adamo used 300 pounds of dynamite for the attempted Silverdome implosion and had three days to prepare for the initial attempt.

Veit & Co. names new president


Rogers, Minnesota-based Veit & Co. has announced Daniel M. White as the new president of the firm. The announcement was made by Vaughn A. Veit, CEO of the company.

White has been an advisor to Veit and his specialty contracting and waste management companies for nearly a decade, initially as outside legal counsel and then as in-house general counsel beginning in 2016, according to a Veit & Co. news release. In June 2017, Veit named White president of his VONCO Waste Management Campus companies and Veit Disposal Systems.

“A highly analytical, trusted, and decisive leader, we are thrilled to announce that Dan White is the new president of Veit & Co.,” Veit says. “As one who is quick to grasp complex issues, Dan is skilled at helping our employees solve problems and excel in their roles. Dan understands my vision for our companies, and I am confident that we will see continued success under his leadership as Veit & Co. enters its 90th year. We have been taking care of business since 1928. Dan will make sure that we continue to take care of business.”

The Veit family of companies (which was profiled by Construction & Demolition Recycling in 2008) has more than 700 employees and offers specialty contracting services including earthwork, foundations, demolition, underground utilities, hydraulic dredging and industrial cleaning. VONCO and Veit Disposal Systems provide roll-off containers and transport, recycle and dispose of construction and demolition debris and industrial solid waste.

University of Nebraska dormitories come down in implosion

Two dormitories at the University of Nebraska Lincoln campus came down in a 10-second implosion Dec. 22, 2017. The two towers had been part of the University of Nebraska-Lincoln campus since 1963.

Thousands of small explosions were simultaneously triggered to weaken the columns supporting the 13-story towers. Once the supports came down, the dorms’ weight caused their iron supports to collapse onto a space that once held a shared dining hall.

The university began preparing for the implosion in May 2017 while removing asbestos from the building by removing windows, heavy furniture and any mechanical parts of the dorms that could become projectiles during the implosion. Controlled Demolition Inc. (CDI), Phoenix, Maryland, worked on rigging the implosion site for weeks.

CDI used jackhammers and drills to damage internal support structures, such as elevator shafts and stairwells and drilled holes into the 64 columns supporting each floor. Each hole drilled in the columns of the basement and first floor structures were fitted with 1 ½ sticks of dynamite and holes in the second, fourth, sixth, eighth and 11th floors were fitted with ½ stick.

A chain-link fence and geotextile fabric were wrapped around each of the columns to contain larger debris and catch dust and particulates. The lower floors were also lined with curtains made from the materials to minimize the amount of debris thrown out during the implosion. Shipping containers supplied by Ark Wrecking, headquartered in Tulsa, Oklahoma, were fitted with netting to stop debris from scattering while being hauled away.

The charges were wired with redundancies to avoid what Grant Watson, the university’s construction manager, calls a “Pontiac Silverdome situation.” The detonation was triggered from across the street.

Once the implosion was done, piles of rubble between 20 feet and 35 feet high remained for crews to clean up. The demolition debris was sent to a local landfill.

Contamination detected at Hanford Site

Two vehicles leaving the Hanford Site, a nuclear cleanup site in Benton County, Washington, allegedly spread low-level contamination when leaving the site Dec. 15, 2017. The vehicles returned to the site Dec. 18, 2017, and were found to be contaminated with radioactive waste.

Several other areas near the demolition site, known as the Plutonium Finishing Plant, were contaminated as well, including near the trailers, on a jersey barrier, on a vehicle hood, on the ground and on a trash can.

No contamination was detected inside the vehicles at the time of reporting. The employees who drove the cars were asked to remain in offices Dec. 18, 2017, until further surveys were conducted.

Six demolition workers had found elevated contamination readings on their lapel monitors the week of Dec. 10, 2017. The workers are undergoing bioassays to see if contamination has permeated into their bodies. Results from the bioessays are expected to return in a month.

Demolition of the plant was on hold and the contractor working on the project says that work will be restarted when the possible contamination issues are fixed.

The Plutonium Finishing Plant was used to make hockey puck-sized plutonium buttons for bombs since 1949. Work to demolition the plant has been ongoing since 2016, and is expected to be complete in January.

Webster Hall set for interior demolition

Permits were filed for the interior demolition of Webster Hall in New York City, Dec. 11, 2017. The new owners of the venue plan to renovate the space.

Martinez & Johnson Architecture, Washington, is slated to work on the renovations. The firm also worked on renovations of the Kings Theatre in Brooklyn and the Boston Opera House in Massachusetts.

Webster Hall closed Aug. 10, 2017. Brooklyn Sports and Entertainment, Brooklyn, New York, and The Bowery Presents, New York City, bought Webster Hall from the Ballinger family in the spring for $35 million.

The new owners plan to drop the club nights previously held at the venue and focus on live music. The renovations will not be complete until 2020.