Lawsuits filed in Connecticut court over demolition contract

Attorneys for Standard Demolition Services, Trumbull, Connecticut, have filed a counter claim to the town of New Milford’s breach of contract suit against the demolition company, according to a report in the Danbury News Times.

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In mid-January the town reportedly fired the demolition firm following a contract dispute. The dispute surrounded which entity was responsible for the cleanup of 1,500 tons of contaminated steel at the former Century Brass mill site controlled by New Milford.

The town filed a civil suit against the company Jan. 15, 2016, which claims the contract had been materially breached because the firm did not work in a manner that ensured completion by Feb. 1, 2016, and that the firm “failed or refused to comply with pertinent laws, ordinances, or the instructions of the engineer.”

The counter suit, filed Jan. 22, 2016, in response to and as a counter claim at a Superior Court, asserts Standard Demolition was wrongfully terminated from the demolition project by the town and accused the town of breaching the contract by refusing to pay Standard Demolition for work performed and for causing delays in the project, according to the article.

In memoriam: David Mardigian

David Mardigian, founder and CEO of the demolition firm MCM Management Co., Bloomfield Hills, Michigan, passed away in early January 2016. He was 64. Mardigan is rememberd by his peers as a pioneer of industrial and environmental repurposing.

His obituary describes Mardigian as having a larger-than-life personality and a huge heart. “He was passionate about work, loved his family wholeheartedly and will be sorely missed,” the obituary states.

MCM Management is among the largest demolition firms in the country. It recorded revenue of $116 million in 2013 and had 300 employees, as reported in the November-December 2014 issue of Construction & Demolition Recycling.

Mardigian founded MCM in 1993 and was providing executive oversight of design, estimating, field operations and client relationships until his death. The company’s website says Mardigian began working in the demolition field in 1966 as a summer laborer.

His “career emphasis throughout his career has been to achieve low unit costs through productivity, the highest degree of safety, meeting schedules thought to be impossible, while minimizing the impact of demolition operations on adjacent property owners and the general public. Mechanical means have always been employed to limit manual labor, thereby limiting exposure to most worker safety hazards,” the website adds.

The Washington-based National Demolition Association (NDA) described Mardigian as a “pioneer of industrial and environmental repurposing and was actively involved in shaping NDA’s sponsorship of an educational program for demolition at Purdue University.

Dan Costello, NDA Awards chairman, stated, “The memory of his strong belief in providing education for our industry should be remembered by our members in his name.”

Mardigian was survived by his wife of 23 years, Bonnie Jean Mardigian, five children and three grandchildren.

A funeral service was held Wednesday, Jan. 13, 2016, at Grace Gospel Fellowship Church, in Pontiac, Michigan. Memorial tributes can be made to Grace Gospel Fellowship, 65 E Huron St., Pontiac, Michigan 48342.

Crayon factory heading toward demolition date

Six bids were received in early January 2016 by the city government of Sandusky, Ohio, to demolish a former crayon factory in the northern Ohio city.

According to an online article by the Sandusky Register, officials in that city received the six bids from demolition companies interested in dismantling the abandoned factory building.

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The city will review the bids and make a decision whether to accept one of them. Sandusky development officer Matt Lasko is quoted by the Register as saying, “Once a contractor is selected and the contract is signed, (which should occur in a few weeks or less), work must commence within 21 days.”

Lasko also said in the article the abandoned structure poses a safety hazard, as portions of it may be nearing collapse.

Two developers who co-own the building have pitched ideas to renovate it in recent years, but none of the plans came to fruition, according to the Register. The city intends to bill the owners for the cost of demolition.

According to a Sandusky history website and blog, the crayon factory traces its roots in Sandusky back to the 1850s. Through multiple acquisitions and mergers, an art supply production facility of one type or another operated in Sandusky until 2002, when the American Crayon Co. factory and office in Sandusky that is now slated for demolition closed its doors.

Former Baylor football stadium reaches the end zone

Demolition crews have started working at Floyd Casey Stadium on the campus of Baylor University in Waco, Texas. The stadium served as the home of Baylor’s football team for more than 60 years, from 1950 to 2013.

According to an online article by the Waco Tribune, Hutchins, Texas-based Lloyd D. Nabors Demolition LLC is in charge of the project, which is scheduled to be completed by July 2016.

University officials quoted in the Tribune article say abatement and remediation steps will need to be taken first, including checking for asbestos. Materials recycling will be a priority during the project, as “all parts of the stadium will be sorted as demolition progresses, and as much material as possible will be salvaged for scrap or recycled,” according to the article.

The city of Waco and the university are considering proposals to redevelop the site of the former stadium once it is cleared, with options that could include mixtures of residential, commercial, office and recreational uses.

Two Pittsburgh bridges taken down via implosions

Two Pittsburgh bridges were recently taken down via implosion less than a month apart. The first implosion was of the old Greenfield Bridge on Dec. 28, 2015. According to local reports, it took mere seconds for the 93-year-old bridge to fall.

An analysis of the bridge, located in Pittsburgh’s Squirrel Hill Area spanning I-376 (Parkway East) near Squirrel Hill Tunnels, revealed it needed to be replaced. The reconstruction of the bridge includes new bridge abutments, bridge piers, structural steel and new bridge deck consisting of three travel lanes, a bike lane and a sidewalk, with bridge barriers and fencing which will span each side of the new bridge. The city and the Oakland Transportation Management Association (OTMA), have established a community outreach website in order to keep the public informed of the Greenfield Bridge construction activities and answer any questions posed by the public.

The bridge’s original (and official) name, “The “Beechwood Boulevard Bridge” will be reinstated when the new bridge is complete in 2017. The project is a city of Pittsburgh project with Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT) and Federal Highway Administration oversight. The work is being performed by Mosites Construction Co., a civil highway and bridge contractor.

The second implosion occurred Jan. 26, 2016, in the Pittsburgh suburb of Oakmont. The Hulton Bridge came tumbling down into the Allegheny River in seconds by a controlled implosion.

PennDOT says it assembled a team of professionals to design, manage and construct the replacement for the Jonathon Hulton Bridge, a Parker Pratt through Truss structure built in 1908.

PennDOT District 11 Executive Dan Cessna and PennDOT officials joined local community leaders to view the implosion in Harmar Township and Oakmont Borough.

“While it is sad to see an old bridge that has served these communities so faithfully taken down so quickly, it is an important step in the completion of our project,” says Cessna. “The new, modern Hulton Bridge, with elegant design details, will allow the region to grow and prosper.”

The bridge will be replaced through a $65.7 million bridge replacement project over the Allegheny River that began in September 2013. The new structure is approximately 1,600 feet long and 69 feet wide and will carry two 11-foot lanes of traffic in each direction with six-foot shoulders.

Brayman Construction Corp., is the prime contractor. DemTech LLC is the explosive subcontractor.

Additional project information is available by visiting

Armstrong works with recyclers on hotel ceiling project

BreakThru Demolition, Lombard, Illinois, and Independent Recycling Services, Chicago, have worked together to help a downtown Chicago hotel developer divert 110 tons of old ceiling tiles from the landfill via the Armstrong Ceiling Recycling Program.

When converting an 18-story office building into a Conrad Hotel in Chicago’s Magnificent Mile neighborhood, developer CBRE Development Services wanted the renovation project to meet the requirements for U.S. Green Building Council Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certification.

During renovation, the interior of the 228,000-square-foot building was completely gutted and rebuilt into a 284-room Conrad Hotel.

A large fraction of the construction waste consisted of used ceiling panels that would be removed from the building during demolition. Tapping into its existing partnership with Lancaster, Pennsylvania-based Armstrong through the FUSION preferred vendor program, CBRE was able to recycle the old ceiling panels through the Armstrong Ceiling Recycling Program.

The program enables commercial building owners and contractors to salvage ceiling panels removed during demolition and renovation projects and return them to the nearest Armstrong plant as an alternative to landfill disposal. Armstrong uses the reclaimed ceilings to make new ceiling panels in a closed-loop manufacturing process.

The demolition crew placed the salvaged ceiling panels in containers provided by Independent Recycling Services, an Armstrong recycling partner in Chicago. When the containers were full, the recycling contractor transported them back to its facility, where the ceiling panels were baled, shrink-wrapped and made ready for pickup by Armstrong.

“This process with Armstrong and Independent Recycling was as easy as our regular demolition,” says Brian Duddy of BreakThru Demolition. “We just removed the ceiling panels, loaded them in the designated dumpster and they were taken away. Nothing additional needed to be done.” The streamlined process enabled the demolition crew to remove the used ceilings from 12 of the 18 floors in one week, according to Duddy.

“It’s very orderly and organized to get the ceiling panels off the floor and down into a waste disposal container,” says Brian Baldock, project manager for Clayco, the Chicago-based general contractor. “It increases our safety on the job and we are a very safety conscious company.”

By the time the demolition was complete, the developer had sent 220,000 square feet of old ceiling panels back to Armstrong for recycling, diverting about 110 tons of construction waste from the landfill.