In Memoriam: John Adamo

John Adamo Jr. died Dec. 2, 2015. He was 57. An accident at the American Electric Power Service Corp. Muskingum River power plant in Waterford, Ohio, claimed the life of the demolition industry veteran.

Adamo was CEO of the Detroit-based demolition firm Adamo Group and treasurer of the National Demolition Association (NDA), Washington.

A professional engineer who earned a Bachelor of Science degree in civil engineering from Michigan State University in 1980 and an MBA from Wayne State University in 1987, Adamo began working alongside his father, John T. Adamo Sr. at the family’s demolition and construction firm in 1981. He and his brother, Richard, took over the reins in 1992. Adamo held the position of CEO from then until his passing.

Adamo also was a member of the Executive Committee of the NDA where he was considered a leader, colleague and friend to many.

The NDA described Adamo as a thoughtful and dedicated leader in the NDA community. Adamo Demolition Co. was a founding member of NDA in 1972.

“John’s support of NDA was strong and heartfelt as he spent countless hours working on committees and task forces to improve the programs and services offered to our membership,” the NDA says in a statement. “John proudly stepped up and assumed the reins of leadership with enthusiasm after being elected to serve as the association’s treasurer in March 2015. As treasurer, John instituted several new management and financial stewardship policies to benefit the association.”

NDA President Peter Banks says of Adamo’s passing, “I have had the honor of getting to know John while serving on the NDA board together. We wanted John to join the Executive Committee because we recognized his dedication to the association.”

Banks continues, “Not long after he accepted the [treasurer] role, we knew we had recruited the right man. John was all in and was a tremendous addition to our team. He was an example of why you serve on volunteer boards. He offered great insight, listened, learned and mentored.”

The NDA credits Adamo with playing a key role on the Government Affairs Task Force recently and was instrumental in the development of NDA’s first national policy agenda, which will make its way to Capitol Hill in early 2016.

“John was a great leader and valuable member of the NDA board of directors. His absence will be felt by all within the demolition community and our organization,” the NDA states.

Under Adamo’s leadership, the Adamo group of companies has played a critical role in the demolition of thousands of blighted properties in Detroit. Adamo was featured in an article in the March-April 2015 issue of Construction & Demolition Recycling, titled “Determined in Detroit.

Adamo leaves behind a wife, Barbara, and four daughters.

Old Bay Bridge’s largest pier taken down successfully

The largest of the piers of the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge’s old east span was removed from the bay through a careful and extensively planned implosion in the early morning hours of Nov. 14, 2015.

At slack tide, years of preparation, more than half-a-dozen permits, and thousands of hours of labor culminated a successful implosion, according to a California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) press release. In just six seconds, nearly 600 controlled charges weakened the 50 feet of Pier E3, which stood above the bay floor, allowing gravity to collapse the tower into its hallow casing below the mudline.

“In the coming weeks, we’ll be exhaustively collecting extensive data and determining the effect the implosion had on the environment and fish nearby,” says Brian Maroney, chief bridge engineer of Caltrans’ Toll Bridge Program.

University dormitory taken down via implosion

Approximately 750 pounds of explosives have been used to take down a 50-year-old dormitory building on the University of Kansas campus in Lawrence, Kansas.

According to an online report from Wichita, Kansas-based KSN-TV, the 50-year-old McCollum Hall building was imploded Nov. 25, 2015, on the day before Thanksgiving when campus activities were minimal. The obsolete dormitory building was a 10-story, 220,000-square-foot structure that opened in 1965.

Two new residence halls that opened at the start of the 2015-2016 school year have replaced McCollum Hall functionally, while the land on which the imploded building sat will be converted into a parking lot.

Lenexa, Kansas-based Midland Wrecking Inc. is the lead contractor for the demolition project.

A subcontractor hired by Midland Wrecking carried out the successful implosion.

Michigan power plant implosion goes off without a hitch

A former DTE Energy power plant in Marysville, Michigan, was demolished Nov. 7, 2015. According to local reports, the plant known as the “Mighty Marysville” opened in 1922 and closed its doors in 2001. A series of towering smokestacks were one of the notable features of the building.

The plant, located along the St. Clair River, which separates Michigan and Ontario, about 55 miles north of Detroit, attracted spectators from both the U.S. and Canada.

Controlled Demolition Inc., Pheonix, Maryland, performed the implosion, while Sitetech Inc. of Ohio is the demolition contractor cleaning up the site, including asbestos abatement. The cleanup is expected to take six months.

The site was acquired by Commercial Development Co. in 2014. Plans for redeveloping the space include a five-story hotel, condominiums, restaurants, a banquet hall, outdoor seating, cafe and specialty food shops, a general retail building and a riverfront promenade.

Also included would be space for a park, a fitness center, a marina and public dock and bike paths.