Baltimore receives $16 million in vacant home demolition funds

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The state of Maryland is starting to implement state’s Project CORE (Creating Opportunities for Renewal and Enterprise) program in Baltimore using $16 million of its $75 million total grant funds to work on 30 projects in the city.

The project’s goal is to demolish vacant homes and put either new developments or green space in their place over the span of four years. The first project was the Madison Park North apartment building, which is going through a $2 million development through the Project CORE program.

A portion of the funding goes to the Maryland Stadium Authority, which is overseeing a slow-to-start demolition program targeting large blocks of vacant buildings.

The grants the organization receives are reserved for nonprofit applications and city agencies. Many of the awards went to projects in West Baltimore, a part of the city with high crime, poverty and vacancy rates.

The grant money went to 17 organizations selected from a group of 36 applications for 77 projects. In East Baltimore, the city’s Department of Housing and Community Development and the East Baltimore Development Corp. were awarded grant funding. In West Baltimore, recipients include the Upton Planning Committee, the Druid Heights Community Development Corp. and Habitat for Humanity of Chesapeake.

Work will begin on most of the projects within the next 18 months. Some projects will require more funds for completion.

Milwaukee Transit Center clock tower topples

The clock tower on the downtown Milwaukee Transit Center was demolished in the early morning hours Jan. 7, to make way for a new development along the city’s skyline. Wisconsin-based construction firm, J.H. Findorff & Son, led the demolition.

Prior to tipping over the clock tower crews used heavy equipment to pick away at the precast concrete that was sitting on the clock tower beforehand to reduce the amount of vibration that would happen when the actual clock tower tipped over. The tower’s six columns were torch cut to weaken the structure. The tower tipped over as planned and the project went safely.

The next demolition phase for the development includes the bridge over Michigan Street. Once the debris is removed, work will begin on the Couture building, a 44-story skyscraper.

New York bridge implodes to make room for new overpass

A bridge was imploded in High Falls, New York, Jan. 25, to make way for a new and improved structure.

The old bridge was constructed in 1931 and renovated in 1986. It carried a daily traffic volume of 4,112 vehicles, was 267 feet long and 22 feet wide. The decision to demolish the bridge came after the New York Department of Transportation declared it was functionally obsolete.

The bridge was shut down on Jan. 3 to prepare for the implosion. The new construction is one of 100 bridges being replaced under a $542 million statewide infrastructure project.

The new $12.4 million replacement bridge is expected to open June 30. It is designed to include better views, a pedestrian pathway and less of a steel superstructure.