Tuesday, April 9, 2013

'Demolition Weekend' Nears

Time’s Up for Asarco Stacks and City Hall 

Two enormous demolition events will occupy El Paso’s coming weekend as both the Asarco smokestacks and the former City Hall building are levelled. And authorities are asking residents to stay home and watch the events unfold on television.

Asarco No More

Asarco is first in line. The massive columns at the former copper smelting site will be knocked over like falling trees in the early morning of April 13, 2013, between 6:30 and 7:00 a.m. Diagrams of the “fall zones” show that the stacks will tumble in an easterly direction into predetermined footprints. Berms made of piles of earth will help block dust from travelling laterally and raised sprinkler systems will also try and hold dust close to the ground. The taller chimney stands 828 feet tall, approximately as tall as a 70 to 80 story building.

Smokestack fall zones are shown as red-striped areas in this diagram.
Traffic along Interstate 10 and Paisano Drive will be closed 15 minutes before the event. I-10 could reopen as soon as 15 minutes after the smokestacks fall, but Paisano could stay closed for three additional hours.

The demolition of the stacks is part of a much larger site remediation project, headed by Project Navigator’s Roberto Puga, trustee for the site. Puga hopes to have all remediation completed by 2016 in order to eventually sell the property to a developer. According to the Trust, the explosive demolition will be conducted under the direction of Brandenburg Industrial Service Company of Illinois and Dykon Explosive Demolition Corporation of Oklahoma.

Play Ball, City Hall

One day later, on Sunday, April 14, 2013, the former City Hall building will be imploded. Explosives placed on support beams inside the building will cause the structure to fall onto itself.

The demolition of the 10 story former headquarters for the City government is part of a $50 million project to construct a Triple-A baseball stadium at the site. The City has since moved its main offices to the former El Paso Times building on North Campbell street a few blocks to the east.

The area around the former City Hall will be off limits during implosion.
Several blocks around the demolition site will be made off limits, and no public viewing areas have been announced.  The demolition is headed by Controlled Demolition, Inc., of Maryland.

Asarco Trustee Website:
City Hall Demolition Plan (PDF):