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Video – Chinese implode Lishui Bridge…

Big bang drops Chinese bridge.

A four decade old bridge in China was annihilated in just seconds this week.

Lishui Bridge in Zhangjiajie, central China, was demolished using a tonne of explosives on September 8 to make way for a new bridge, reported People’s Daily Online.

The dramatic collapse of the bridge was captured on video and showed that the entire demolition took just two seconds.

Breaking News – Four injured in hangar collapse…

Four demolition workers in hospital following New Jersey airport incident.

A hangar set for demolition has collapsed at a New Jersey airport, injuring four of nine workers inside.

The demolition workers were on the ground floor and second floor of the hangar when the metal building collapsed. The incident occurred at the Newark Liberty International Airport on Wednesday afternoon.

Four workers were transported to hospital with non-life-threatening injuries, including facial lacerations and a leg injury.

The hangar was previously owned by United Airlines and has not been in use for at least a decade, according to Pentangelo. No airplanes are kept inside, and the building is largely used for storage. It is owned by Port Authority.

Read more here.

Comment – We need to talk…

Talking about something other than booze, birds and football might just save a life.

Today, 10 September, is World Suicide Prevention Day. This is a subject that is close to my heart having lost a business partner to suicide a few years back. But it is also a subject that should be close to the heart of all within the demolition industry.

Why? Well three out of four suicides are men. And, let’s face it, demolition remains a predominantly male industry. Each year, more than half a million men around the world take their own lives, often through some form of mental health issue. Yet the subject of suicide carries with it some stigma and is, therefore, hidden in the shadows and rarely discussed.

Women are more likely to talk about what’s going on and seek help for mental health problems, whereas we men are good at bottling things up and toughing it out. We’re pretty good at talking about sport, work, the latest gadget, or the latest film but as men need to get better at talking about the significant stuff going on in our lives – things like losing a job, the breakdown of a relationship, or a significant personal or professional setback.

It isn’t easy to talk. We were raised to believe that men are supposed to be strong, tough and resilient – I know I was – and this is even more the case in a macho, testosterone-fuelled industry like demolition.

But asking for help is not a sign of weakness. No-one would attempt to tackle a demolition project on their own; they need help and support throughout the demolition process. And no-one thinks less of them for that!

If you’re reading this at work, chances are you’re on a site or in an office surrounded by men. Are any of them struggling? Are you? If so, for the love of God, talk about it.

It’s naive to think that a conversation will save every life, but conversations do help men stay mentally healthy. So it’s time to break our silence and recognise that the key to overcoming even the biggest problems is to start talking.

It’s good to talk.

A glimpse into the JCB crystal ball…

Demolition kit was thin on the ground – But JCB’s product range is bursting with new machines.

Along with a rag-tag army of camera and notepad wielding construction trade journalists from across Europe (the diggerazzi, as they’re known) I made my annual pilgrimage to the JCB World Headquarters to see what the UK’s bastion of machinery manufacturing had in store for its customers in the coming year.

Although there were a few items on the packed menu that had either been seen before (the new site dumper range, for example) or “merely” a step-up in engine technology (the latest Stage IIIB compliant JS excavators) there was also a lot of the “new stuff” that makes my job both possible and enjoyable.

Key among them was a new JCB 3CX Compact; a new backhoe loader that it 35 percent smaller than the famous machine upon which it is based; and a pair of new specialist backhoe loaders designed specifically for the piling and pole-placing sectors. And for those that have been around long enough to hanker for the Rocester company’s old-school livery, let joy be unconfined as the company is making 70 such machines to coincide with its 70th anniversary.

Thanks to our buddies at Diggers and Dozers, we have full coverage of all these machines and more, including video footage of most of them. So please just pick your chosen JCB flavour below:

Backhoes enter next stage
JS excavators get engine upgrade
Pole to Pole
Piling on the pressure
The backhoe for a shrinking world

And, if reading’s not your thing, head on over to the Diggers and Dozers YouTube channel where you can see many of these machines (and a whole host of others) in action.

Comment – Red Road is not the answer…

Why the tower blocks should come down, despite the migrant crisis.

Only those of us with a lump of granite where our heart should be will have failed to have been moved by the pictures of Aylan Kurdi’s lifeless body lying abandoned on a beach; a visceral and unforgettable image that encapsulated the migrant crisis facing much of Europe.

With the possible exception of Germany’s Angela Merkel, European leaders have been slow to respond to a humanitarian crisis happening right on their doorsteps. And UK Prime Minister David Cameron’s belated agreement to open the UK’s borders smacked not of a man helping his fellow man but of a leader who had been backed into a corner.

Harrowing though the crisis is, however, suggestions that migrants fleeing conflicts in Syria could be housed in the Red Road tower blocks in Glasgow is, at best, ill-advised. While Scottish National Party’s Anne McLaughlin’s intentions are admirable, in reality this is merely a pipe dream.

For one thing, the blocks are now just a few short weeks away from demolition. They have been gutted to the point that the blocks are now merely skeletons. To make them habitable once again would cost millions and would take months or longer.

But, more importantly, these blocks are a relic; a lasting reminder of a failed social experiment that have blighted the Scottish skyline for too long already.

The primary reason for their planned demolition was that they had become uninhabitable. The blocks were plagued by a range of social and structural problems, and became associated with the failure of high-rise public housing. Until earlier this year they housed many refugees, mostly from Africa and the Middle East, and were the focus of tragedy when a Russian family of three seeking asylum in the UK jumped to their deaths from their flat on the 15th floor in 2010.

If the blocks were uninhabitable in 2010, no amount of goodwill will make them habitable today or in the foreseeable future.

All that said, McLaughlin’s wider point – housing fleeing migrants in empty homes – is a valid and commendable one. And, according to one recent report, the UK currently has more than 200,000 homes lying empty, many of them ready for almost immediate occupation.

So yes, by all means utilise some of the country’s housing stock to do the right and human thing to help those fleeing war and persecution.

But let’s be sensible about when and where we do so.

Call to halt Red Road blast…

MP says blocks could be used to ease migrant crisis.

A SNP MP has called for a U-turn on the demolition of the Red Road flats so they can accommodate refugees fleeing from the war in Syria.

Anne McLaughlin, who represents Glasgow North East where the high rises are situated, said the buildings could be used to house families arriving in Scotland.

She urged the authorities to consider reviewing the programme to knock the six blocks down in a simultaneous explosion in October.

“I know nobody is in these flats now and the final ones are due to come down in mid October. But if it’s in any way feasible for the authorities to halt the demolition programme then I think they should consider doing so,” she said.

“There are also three high flats in Sighthill which people have moved out of in preparation for demolition and maybe they could be left too to provide emergency accommodation for refugees.”

The 31 storey Red Road flats were once the tallest residential structures in Europe and a beacon of hope for residents of Glasgow’s slums.

They were built in the 1960s and were intended to house almost 5,000 people as part of an effort to ease overcrowding and combat slum conditions in the east end.

But in the decades that followed, they were plagued by a range of problems.

Read more here.

Video – Hammerhead granted Liberty…

Time-lapse of dock crane dismantling for Down Under.

Liberty Industrial carried out the deconstruction of the historic Hammerhead Crane located at the Garden Island Naval Base on Sydney Harbour.

The project involved dismantling a giant cantilevered dockside crane for the Department of Defence. The structure was progressively dismantled in large sections in a highly choreographed sequence, engineered to maintain the structural stability of the crane.

In addition to the removal of the structure, the project had a substantial salvage component with the preservation and restoration of numerous heritage significant components of the crane.

Garden Island Hammerhead Crane Deconstruction Timelapse from Liberty Industrial on Vimeo.

Cockenzie revisited…

Brown and Mason make ready for yet another power station blast.

ScottishPower, East Lothian Council and Police Scotland have confirmed further details regarding the demolition of the twin chimney stacks at the former Cockenzie Power Station site. The controlled explosive demolition is planned to take place at 12pm on Saturday 26 September. Immediately following the chimney demolition, a second controlled explosion will be initiated to bring down the turbine hall structure.

The demolition will be undertaken by Brown and Mason, who have successfully managed similar projects for ScottishPower in recent years at Inverkip Power Station and Methil Power Station.

An exclusion zone will be in place from 9am to ensure that the demolition can be carried out safely. The safety restrictions will cover the Greenhills, sections of Edinburgh Road and the John Muir Way, as well as extending in to the Firth of Forth. Traffic restrictions will also be in place in the vicinity of the power station from 7am. Edinburgh Road will be closed from Appin Drive to East Lorimer Place. A section of Whin Park will also be closed. Diversionary routes will be signposted. All restrictions will be lifted shortly after the demolition has taken place.

It is anticipated that viewing locations in the immediate vicinity of the power station will be very limited. Police Scotland, ScottishPower and East Lothian Council have all recommended that people who would like to watch the demolition take the time to plan their position in advance.

Read more here.

Video – GM stack finally succumbs…

Excavator achieves what three implosions failed to do.

The stubborn GM smokestack that withstood three failed implosions has finally been laid to rest using excavators.

The removal came as a surprise to Windsor fire and city officials, as well as neighbours in the area, who thought they would get two days’ notice of the demolition.

“After three failed attempts, city officials claiming it cost tax payers thousands of dollars for traffic control and emergency services to back roads, Jones Group Ltd. decided to demolish the structure saving taxpayers’ money and disrupting traffic around the plant,” said owner Terry Jones, in a statement.

Video – Detonation double at Dalhousie…

Multiple blasts fell chimneys at Canadian power company.

There is just no stopping the team at Dykon Explosive Demolition Corp at present; not even the US/Canadian border can halt their explosive progress.

The company, which currently seems to be owning the exlosive demolition world, has popped up again, this time at the NB Power facility at Dalhousie in New Brunswick.

Check out the footage below:

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