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Bird brained

Nesting cormorants delay Bay Bridge demolition by six months.

The demolition of the Bay Bridge’s old eastern span will be delayed for at least six months because of nesting birds that refuse to vacate the structure.

The plan was to build new nesting areas on the new eastern span for the hundreds of cormorants, that have called the old span home for as long as it’s been standing, but that has not gone accordingly.

“Despite installing mirrors, installing recording devices to make it look like there are a bunch of birds already there—those birds have not been fooled,” Metropolitan Transportation Commission spokesman John Goodwin said. “We need to take what are known as additional bird mitigation measures and that may include more extensive use of netting.”

While the work to demolish the bridge’s cantilever sections continues, work to tear down two other truss sections will be delayed until Caltrans can come up with another plan. Goodwin said that, currently, they don’t have another other ideas on how to get the birds to moves.

Read more here.

Video – Surrounded on all sides…

Contractor carries out demolition in midst of Kuala Lumpur’s concrete jungle.

Demolition, as we all know, clears away the old to make way for the new. But in some cases, the sequence gets all out of kilter and the old to be removed and replaced is already surrounded by the new.

Check out the location of this demolition by our new friends at Central Geo in Malaysia. The contract takes place surrounded on all sides by new tower blocks of literally dizzying heights.

A tragic contract…

H.E. SERVICES helps put April Jones case to rest

HE BridgerH.E. SERVICES (Plant Hire) Ltd. has supplied machines for the demolition of the home of Mark Bridger, who was convicted of the murder of schoolgirl, April Jones in 2013.

Work has just started to demolish the house in Ceinws, Powys after having been purchased by the Welsh Government at the request of April’s parents, Coral and Paul.

The roof has already been pulled down. Demolition is expected to be completed on Monday 17th November 2014.

The thoughts and prayers of all staff at H.E. SERVICES, are with the family of April Jones at this difficult time.

Video – Executive Hotel blast in detail…

A closer look at the blast that stopped Atlanta in its tracks.

Just a few weeks ago, we brought you some rough, ready and raw footage of the explosive demolition of the Executive Hotel in Atlanta, yeah, you know the one that scared the bejeezus out of the dog.

Well now we have got our paws on a professional quality film of that blast and it is well worth a viewing (unless you’re a dog).

Video – Out of the mouths of babes…

Canadian kids tell it like it is during hospital demolition.

Children. Noisy, ungrateful, time-sapping, finance-draining, lazy, rude, ignorant, arrogant, honestly believe they invested sex, drugs and rock and roll and that their need for a ride trumps your need to sleep.

But long before they reach that stage, they have an innocence of spirit and a filter-free mode of speech that is as refreshing as it is honest.

Take, for example, the young lady at the 1.43 mark in this video of ClearView Grinding’s demolition of the BC Children’s hospital in Vancouver, British Columbia. Just about anyone that has ever worked in or around demolition will relate to her no-nonsense, shoot-from-the-lip answer:

Comment – A problem that will never be solved…

Thieves are growing ever-more sophisticated in their attacks on the demolition industry.

Comment IllustrationBack in the dim and distant past when I was deputy editor of the now defunct Plant Managers Journal magazine (it died long after I’d left, before you ask), I organised and hosted an industry forum meeting to look at the issue of equipment theft which, at the time, was believed to be costing the industry £100 million/year. In attendance were several equipment manufacturers, a couple of plant hirers, insurance companies, and a pair of officers from the Kent police force who – at the time – were spearheading a crackdown on plant theft. That meeting was 27 years ago.

This week, I attended the seventh annual meeting of the Combined Industry Theft Solutions conference at the JCB World headquarters to look at precisely the same issue although on a far larger scale. This proves two key things: firstly that our meeting and all subsequent industry efforts have failed to drive out the thieves; and secondly that my once promising journalistic career achieved a relatively shallow trajectory and has largely flat-lined ever since.

The latest CITS conference was notable for several reasons, not least the total absence of any demolition representation. Apparently, although attachments seem to go walkabout with alarming regularity, demolition considers the subject of equipment theft as somehow beneath it.

Despite the advent of mechanical and electronic devices to prevent theft, deter thieves or to aid in the recovery of the equipment if it is stolen, plant theft is a problem that refuses to go away. In fact, if industry estimates are anything to go by, it is now costing the industry somewhere in the region of £800 million per year. And we thought we had it bad in 1987!

“Plant theft is a problem that will never be solved,” said CITS chairman Ian Elliott during the conference. “The better anti-theft systems have become, the more sophisticated the thieves have grown.”

In truth, however, the tide IS turning. According to Home Office statistics, machinery theft is down nationally by 65 percent since 2010, and down by 75 percent in and around London. But the audacity of the thieves, coupled with the increasing cost of the equipment being stolen and the knock-on lost time and contract penalty costs means that the true cost is heading inexorably to the £1.0 billion mark.

And it doesn’t end there. While the loss of an excavator, hydraulic breaker or multi-processor is immediately identifiable, other less visible but equally pernicious forms of theft are also on the rise. According to Charlie McMurdie from Price Waterhouse Coopers, cyber-crime has already hit around a quarter of a million UK businesses to the tune of more than £400 million. “If you think you haven’t been hit by cyber-crime, you’re looking in the wrong place,” was McMurdie’s stark warning.

And even if you satisfy your Luddite fear of modernity by operating your demolition company from a cave with sketchy wi-fi, the thieves still have you – or, rather, your fuel – in their sights. Some 60 percent of Road Haulage Association members are reported to have fallen victim to fuel theft while construction statistics suggest that as much of 10 percent of all fuel used in construction (and by construction, they mean construction AND demolition) is lost to external and internal thieves.

For all the advances made by equipment manufacturers to minimise fuel consumption, the chances are that tens of thousands of pounds of diesel are still being lost each year. The only real difference is that the loss is going to fuel organised crime gangs rather than merely punching a hole in an already depleted ozone layer.

Man killed in basement collapse…

Excavator falls into basement during Tulsa school demolition

A man died during the demolition of Tulsa’s old Mark Twain Elementary School Friday.

He was operating an excavator when the ground gave way and it fell into a basement below. It created a very dangerous situation for rescue crews, who had to work slowly to recover the driver.

Construction crews for Ark Wrecking went from tearing down the old school into a frantic rescue mode, but there was nothing they could do to save their co-worker. Tulsa Fire Department Captain Hubert Rouse, “There was a false basement maybe the operator was not aware of and it collapsed on him.”

The operator was using an excavator to remove debris that demolition crews created. He was on the first floor of the school, which was made of concrete. The basement underneath had been converted into classrooms at some point and the concrete gave way. The track hoe and the driver in the cab fell with it; he was trapped and crushed by heavy rock and concrete.

The excavator stopped about three feet from the basement floor and was hanging precariously, making it tough on the rescue workers. Fire Captain David Umfleet, “What makes it more dangerous is they started demolition, and injure rescuers.”

Read more here.

Bradley Airport demolition set for take-off…

Connecticut airport set to fall as contract is awarded.

A Massachusetts company will demolish Bradley International Airport’s Terminal B, which closed in 2010, the Connecticut Airport Authority announced.

S&R Corp. of Lowell, Mass., will also demolish a viaduct roadway that runs in front of the terminal, which is slated to be replaced in 2018.

The work will mean that all lanes of traffic on Bradley’s upper roadway will be diverted to the lower roadway just after the Sheraton, CAA said. The right line of the lower-level arrivals roadway will also be closed.

Video – Malaysian high reach action…

Great drone work captures high reach hard at work.

It’s not every day that we in cold and rainy Britain get to see demolition take place in warm and sunny Malaysia (although if anyone would care to fund our trip there, we’d find a slot in our diary)

But thanks to this excellent new film from the guys at Malaysian demolition contractor Central Geo, we can at least get a feel for their handiwork. This video makes great use of drone footage to capture a variety of machines so please take a moment to give it a viewing:

Video – It’s curtains for Switzerland…

Crane-mounted protective curtain contains debris.

Although we have seen (and filmed) this technology before, the sheer ingenuity of the demolition profession never fails to amaze.

Take some old conveyor belting, suspend it from a crane and hey presto, debris is contained, much to the delight of those environmentally-fastidious Swiss:

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