The specific date in December for the implosion of the faulty, 376-ft-tall condominium tower on South Padre Island in Texas has not been set. But the demolition contractor says it has solved almost all the quandaries of one of its most challenging razings using explosives. If all goes according to plan, when the dust settles, Controlled Demolition Inc. (CDI) will have broken the height record, which it set in 1975, for imploding a reinforced-concrete tower.
The Ocean Tower job is one for the record books, and not just because it is 15 ft taller than the São Paulo, Brazil, tower that CDI previously took down. The preexisting structural damage means loads are not being transferred through the remaining structure in a “fully predictable, much less programmable fashion,” says J. Mark Loizeaux, president of Phoenix, Md.-based CDI. That means more caution during prep work.