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Video – Savanna – Sabula bridge blasted…

Controlled blast fells bridge over Mississippi River.

The 86-year-old Savanna-Sabula Bridge, a steel truss bridge that spanned the Mississippi River on the Illinois-Iowa border, was demolished late last week.

The Savanna-Sabula, which connected Savanna, Illinois, with the small island town of Sabula, Iowa, was demolished around 10:30 am local time Friday

Video – A blast 10 years in the making…

Controlled implosion finally demolishes tallest building in Kentucky capital.

The 28 storey Capital Plaza Office Tower in Frankfort, Kentucky disappeared yesterday into a cloud of dust.

Capital Plaza Office Tower opened in 1972 and closed in 2016, and was the tallest building in Frankfort.

It was imploded to make way for a new 385,500-square-foot, 1,500 employee office building, and a 1,206-space parking structure.

Comment – No-win situation…

The warring factions within the NFDC come face-to-face at tomorrow’s EGM.

And so it comes down to this. The weeks of covert conversations, political manoeuvring and intrigue; the all-too-public blood-letting; the claims and counter-claims. All of this is now done, and tomorrow the warring factions of the National Federation of Demolition Contractors will meet to hopefully lay to rest the unrest that has plagued the once-proud Federation in recent months.

It will not be pretty; it could be downright ugly. Ill-feeling on both sides is running deep, and accusations and recriminations seem unavoidable and inevitable. And with emotions running so high, it is difficult to envisage an outcome in which anyone will leave the NEC satisfied or reassured.

The battle lines are deceptively straightforward; what they represent is far less so.

On one side is a group that believe that Paul Brown’s presidency has run its course and that is, therefore, pushing for his resignation. If that fails, it seems they’re willing to attempt to oust him.

On the other side are several of the Federation’s five regions and – it seems – a good many of its members.

But that is only part of the story. There is a feeling among some regions that the executive of the NFDC – the Federation’s inner circle – has become too powerful.

There is also a widely-held belief that the Federation is regionally imbalanced; that too much power resides within the London & Southern Counties Region to the exclusion and detriment of the other regions. It is difficult to argue against such accusations. The London & Southern Region has provided six of the Federation’s last seven presidents; and a good many of the Honorary Life Vice Presidents – which still wield considerable influence – also speak with a Southern accent.

Although to the best of my knowledge, no-one in the Scottish Region has formerly resigned from the NFDC, the fact that its members have so readily embraced a newly-formed and – let’s face it – rival organisation speaks to a disquiet North of the border. That disquiet is apparently mirrored in the Midlands & Welsh Region and – possibly – in the North West Region as well.

Compromise does not appear to be on the agenda for either side; and, even if it were, would that actually quell the unrest?

If the EGM – or the AGM just a few weeks later – results in Paul Brown’s presidency being terminated in one way or another, that would surely serve merely as further evidence that it is an inner circle of individuals that is controlling the Federation, and not its members.

If Paul Brown stays on; if the members rally behind a man that has given the Federation for 40-some years of his life, that surely would make the role of that inner circle untenable.
With so many concerns, so many objectives and so many vested interests, it seems unlikely that anyone will emerge truly victorious or even vindicated when the Extraordinary General Meeting draws to a close.

Whatever transpires behind the closed doors of that meeting, however, it seems that the Federation itself could be the biggest loser. But better that than the members themselves.

If you are one of the many NFDC members that is scheduled to attend the Extraordinary General Meeting tomorrow, I STRONGLY urge you to LISTEN TO THIS before you go.

Video – Cougar Town…

University of Houston says fond farewell.

For almost 70 years, the Quadrangle at the University of Houston was home for generations of Cougars.

In 2018, demolition began to make way for new residence halls. New student housing with approximately 1,200 beds is expected to replace the Quad in fall 2018.

Vancouver Landmark to be vanquished…

JMX Contracting about to start work on Canadian record-breaker.

The demolition of Vancouver’s 42-storey Empire Landmark Hotel is set to begin this month, but onlookers eager for a major implosion are likely to be disappointed.

The contractor in charge of levelling the former hotel and revolving restaurant, JMX Contracting, says it will be using “cutting-edge, European demolition technology” to keep the process quiet and relatively dust-free.

That means the building will come down floor-by-floor over the course of one year, instead of the hallmark boom and crash of some major demolitions.

The company says tearing down the building will be “the tallest demolition in the City of Vancouver’s history.”

The Empire Landmark Hotel closed after 44 years last September. It will be replaced with two new condominium towers.

Video – Nanticoke no more…

Controlled blast fells Lake Erie landmark.

In a matter of seconds, chimney towers which had stood tall over the Lake Erie shoreline for decades were taken down.

The Nanticoke Generating Station is a decommissioned coal plant located on the shore of Lake Erie near the community of Nanticoke, about 20 kilometres east of Port Dover.

The plot thickens…

North West Region backs incumbent NFDC President.

Embattled NFDC President Paul Brown will return to the UK buoyed by the news that the members of the Federation’s North West Region have reportedly given him a vote of confidence in a hastily-arranged Extraordinary General Meeting (EGM).

Ironically, the North West is the home region of KDC Contractors’ Martin O’Donnell, current NFDC vice president and the man in line to succeed Paul Brown as president.

Brown has been in Austin, Texas representing the National Federation of Demolition Contractors at the National Demolition Association convention. His presidency had been called into question as far back as November 2017; but pressure has mounted in the past week as the membership of the Federation prepares for a national EGM at the National Exhibition Centre in Birmingham.

Other regions – most notably Scotland and the Midlands – have apparently voiced their support for Paul Brown, although neither has apparently done so formally.

Although discussion is focused on Brown’s presidency, many have suggested that this is merely symbolic and that the true cause for regional disquiet and division has been a gradual centralisation of power and an erosion of regional input and control.

Video – Worker fined over site crush incident…

WARNING – This video contains graphic images.

An employee of a skip firm has been sentenced after causing serious injury to a pedestrian.

Southwark Crown Court was shown CCTV footage of the incident which took place on 2 August 2017. The footage showed Mr Daividas Rupeika driving into another excavator at the site in Wimbledon, South West London. He then proceeded to reverse the excavator at speed, resulting in a pedestrian being crushed against a shed wall and sustaining serious injuries.

An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) into the incident found that Mr Rupeika had not complied with his duty to take reasonable care for himself and others whilst operating the excavator.

Mr Daividas Rupeika of Thompson Crescent, Croydon pleaded not guilty to two charges of breaching Section 7(a) of the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974. One charge related to him deliberately driving his excavator into another which was being driven by a workmate and the second charge related to him driving too fast in the circumstances.

A jury found Mr Rupeika guilty of both counts after a five-day trial. On 16 February 2018 he was sentenced to six months in custody suspended for two years and was ordered to undertake 40 hours of unpaid work. He was also ordered to pay costs of £500 and a victim surcharge of £115.

Speaking after the case HSE inspector Sarah Pearce said: “Employees should take care of themselves and others whilst at work. 23% of those fatally injured at work in the waste industry were struck by a moving vehicle. This incident could so easily have had more severe consequences for all involved. Employees should be aware of the dangers and potential consequences of operating plant in an unsafe manner.”

Breaking News – President in peril…

Tenure of NFDC President hangs in the balance.

The reign of incumbent National Federation of Demolition Contractors’ president Paul Brown hangs in the balance today as battle lines are drawn between opposing factions within the Federation.

Some are seemingly eager for industry veteran Brown to step down at the Annual General Meeting later this month; while others are keen for him to remain in post for the remainder of his two-year presidency.

A series of “will he, won’t he” calls and discussions yesterday serve as an indication of the confusion surrounding Brown’s position. In the space of less than 15 minutes, DemolitionNews was told categorically that Brown was stepping down at the AGM on 23 March. We were then told categorically that he was planning to remain. A further phone call said that he was still considering his position and that no decision had yet been reached.

The Federation is scheduled to meet for an almost unprecedented Extraordinary General Meeting on 13 March at Birmingham’s National Exhibition Centre; and it was apparently hoped that Brown’s position would have been clarified before then.

Paul Brown has been in the US representing the Federation at the National Demolition Association’s annual convention. He returns to the UK with his future as NFDC president hanging in the balance.

Video – Bridge gets busted…

Armac Group does what Armac Group does best.

Birmingham-based Armac Group has a formidable reputation for its bridge demolition capabilities. It is not for nothing that the company goes by the nickname, The Bridge Busters.

And the company has reinforced that reputation with an overnight possession and demolition of the old A1 bridge between Brampton and Grafham.

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