CDI Implodes Former Trump Plaza in Atlantic City

By Stephanie Loder for Engineering News-Record, February 18, 2021

Click HERE for the full article in ENR.

Watching buildings fall on the Strip another excuse to party

By John Przybys for the Las Vegas Review-Journal June 12, 2016

For original article, please click here.

New Year’s Eve? Meh. National Finals Rodeo? Pffft. The Consumer Electronics Show? Whatever.

But an iconic Strip casino crashing down on itself with dust blowing everywhere and hard-partying revelers who’ve stayed up half the night cheering lustily as they watch?

Now that’s Las Vegas.

Part Woodstock, part Burning Man, part kids’ birthday party at Chuck E. Cheese, Las Vegas casino implosions are a form of targeted destruction embraced more enthusiastically here than maybe anyplace else. And, at 2 a.m. Tuesday, the latest chapter in Las Vegas’ continuing chronicles of corporate dusty death is scheduled to take place when the Riviera comes down after a 60-year run.

Tuesday’s implosion is just the first of a two-parter — the rest of the Riviera is scheduled to come down in August — and the crowd that gathers to watch probably will include veterans of any of the more than a dozen Strip implosions that have taken place since Las Vegans’ favorite outdoor pastime kicked off during the 1990s.

This time around, in an atypical twist, the Barrymore, right across the street and inside the Royal Resort, 99 Convention Center Drive, has scheduled a viewing party Tuesday from midnight to 3 a.m. Kirk Perry, the Barrymore’s general manager, is amazed at how quickly reservations for the event disappeared

“Our cap on this was about 100 people and we sold out in probably the first eight hours,” Perry says. “It’s unbelievable. I think if I had 500 to 600 seats available, they’d go.”

Among the Barrymore’s guests will be a tourist from the United Kingdom and a group of visitors from Brazil who, Perry says, “actually will stay at the Royal Resort specifically to watch.”

Perry — who, himself, has witnessed a few Strip casino implosions — suspects the events are so popular because here, in Las Vegas, “we have the ability to change our landscape, the look and feel of the city.”

Watching an iconic casino fall to the ground in a cloud of dust offers, perhaps, a tangible reminder of the city’s continual evolution, he says.

More to the point, a casino implosion is “like an Irish wake,” Perry says. “How can you not celebrate the life and glory (of the Riviera), especially here in Las Vegas? We like to party and we like to celebrate, so, again, even with the passing of something, it’s celebrating history but also, at the same time, of the future to come.”

But Strip casino implosions haven’t always been the mega-events that the best of them are today. Mark Hall-Patton, Clark County museums administrator, traces the modern Las Vegas Strip implosion — the showbizzy excuse for a party that we’ve all come to expect — to the downing of the Dunes in 1993.

“That one had, if you remember, shooting from the pirate ship and that sort of thing,” Hall-Patton says. “It was that whole sense of, ‘We can make an event out of this, where nobody can outdo our event.’

“That kind of set the tone for what we could do,” Hall-Patton says.

“I think once Steve Wynn did the Dunes implosion, he showed that a party could be had and you could take something that’s fairly standard — “OK, we’ve gotta get rid of this old building” — and turn it into a Vegas event.”

Hall-Patton even would consider as a progenitor of the modern-day Strip implosion the above-ground atomic bomb tests of the postwar era, when, he says, “people would come from all over the country to watch nuclear devices being set off.”

“You went to see this and there was just this sense of power, a sense of, this is something you’re never going to see and hopefully you’re never going to see in any other setting than that,” Hall-Patton says.

“We think of buildings as permanent, huge structures. And the fact that we can take them down in a few minutes, where it takes months or years to build them up, is really just sort of a fascinating statement on what kinds of destructive power we have.”

Another appeal of a casino implosion could be in the communal ritual it represents, says Michael Ian Borer, an associate professor of sociology at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas.

In fact, it’s not coincidental that it’s implosions of casinos on the Strip, and not implosions of office buildings in Henderson, that make Las Vegans camp out all night. Those, Borer says, happen on the Strip because “like it or not, we are the Strip.”

“Of course, we are much more than the Strip,” Borer continues, but all of us “seem to develop some relationship to the Strip.”

We work on the Strip or visit it. We drive across it, or drive on it, or try to avoid it completely. And it’s the only street in town that visitors want to see when they visit us.

The Strip is, “for better or worse, the beacon of light that glows right in the middle of the valley,” Borer says, and “the dominant character that dominates so many of the narratives that take place here.”

That makes anything that happens on the Strip important to all of us, Borer says, and that includes paying our respects to mourn or celebrate the death and imminent disappearance of one of the casinos along it. And, in doing so, and in sharing our personal and collective stories about that, we build a sense of community.

“One of the problems that people have within Las Vegas is that we don’t have many opportunities for collective rituals, and this is clearly one of them,” Borer says.

“It’s this collective desire to participate in something together where we can identify as Las Vegans. There is this desire, this need, for collective ritual.”

The irony, Borer says, is that “by destroying something, we create something else — certainly, that identity, that sense of belonging. Most importantly, by destroying (a hotel), we’re actually creating a sense of place. A person may not have a slew of memories of the Riviera, but they’ll have this one now and that will create some connection to Las Vegas.”

Now, all of this makes sense and certainly rings true. But don’t forget another reason why casino implosions are so popular.

Stuff. Blowed. Up.

There is “a certain fascination” with watching a building collapse, Hall-Patton says. The problem is that building collapses in real life usually involve horrible consequences.

“We don’t like hearing about earthquakes when buildings collapse and hundreds are killed,” he says. “That’s a terrible tragedy.”

In contrast, watching a casino implosion allows us to experience the primal, even childlike excitement of watching a building fall down without the risk of real-life consequences to either others or ourselves.

Besides, how cool is it to watch a spectacle that comes to us without special effects, computer-generated imagery or having to watch Stallone or Schwarzenegger? And if anybody’s going to pull off a magic trick that’d make anything any Strip magician ever has done pale by comparison, why wouldn’t it be Las Vegas?

“I grew up in the Midwest and I was used to seeing old corn silos come down,” says Jeremy Handel, a spokesman for the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority. “I think there is intrigue in the precision to it and just the engineering behind it. You think, ‘How are they going to make that land in a little spot?’ “

A casino implosion “can be a performance,” Hall-Patton says, “and who does performance better than Las Vegas?”

So count casino implosions as — like inexpensive eats, vaudeville-type shows and gratuitous nudity — something that Las Vegas didn’t invent but certainly helped to perfect.

“People blow up buildings all over the world,” Hall-Patton says. “But the whole idea of putting it into a party? That’s a Vegas thing.”

“Blowdown” Series in High Definition

CDI’s sister company, The Loizeaux Group, LLC (who brokers all of CDI’s public/media relations), has been working closely with Parallax Film Productions, Inc. since mid-2007 on a High Definition series of 1-hour documentaries being aired internationally on the National Geographic family of channels and domestically on The Science Channel. The series is entitled “Blowdown” and documents CDI’s preparation for and felling of select, interesting structures around the world.   

The programs which have already aired are as follows:

“Blowdown: Nuclear Explosion”  

Click here to view the trailer.

“Blowdown: Vegas Casino”

Click here to view the trailer.

“Blowdown: The Miami Job”

Click here to view the trailer.

“Blowdown: Rocket Tower”

Click here to view the trailer.

“Blowdown: Super Stadium”

Click here to view the trailer.

“Blowdown: Spyship”

Click here to view the trailer.

“Blowdown: Monster Tower”

Click here to view the trailer.

“Blowdown: World Cup Demolition”

Click here to view the trailer.

Parallax Film Productions Inc. is a Vancouver, BC, Canada-based company, which has been producing documentaries for the international market since 1997. Parallax specializes in producing prime-time specials and series on science, technology, wildlife and adventure for the Discovery Channel (Canada, US and International), PBS (WNET and WGBH) and National Geographic Television International, to name a few. 

CDI Presented the 2010 ABC Gold Level STEP Award

Associated Builders and Contractors, Inc. (ABC) has awarded Controlled Demolition, Inc. (CDI) with the prestigious Gold Level of Achievement Safety Training and Evaluation Process (STEP) Award for 2010. ABC’s STEP Award requires extensive personnel training, on-the-job performance, documentation and evaluations. This honor was awarded by Kirk Pickerel, ABC National President and CEO and James Elmer, ABC National Chair.

STEP was established in 1989 by the ABC National Environment, Health & Safety Committee to assist ABC member contractors in evaluating and improving corporate safety practices and recognize outstanding safety training efforts. Each year, over 2,000 contractors of various sizes participate in the STEP program.

When 99% Is Not Enough

EXPLORING THE GAP BETWEEN CONFIDENCE AND CERTAINTY

In the world of financial engineering, risk measures are used to estimate the probabilities of unexpected outcomes. VaR is commonly utilized to calculate the worst loss an institution can experience within a certain timeframe up to a confidence level of 99%. For some businesses however, a measure that only covers 99% of any variable is simply unacceptable. THINK takes a closer look at the demolition and nuclear power industries to understand how risk is managed when anything less than a perfect outcome can be a catastrophe.

A CONTROLLED DEMOLITION

When a financial institution is destroyed, something terrible has happened. When Controlled Demolition, Inc. (CDI) destroys something, it means everything has gone according to plan. CDI is an American company that demolishes structures with the kind of precision and planning usually associated with their creation. For over 60 years, 3 generations of the Loizeaux family have created a commercial explosives demolition industry through innovation, expertise, leadership and a methodology designed to guarantee complete predictability. This history includes the implosion of the Kingdome in Seattle, which holds the Guinness World Record for the largest structure by volume ever felled with explosives.

“Once we decide that we can safely perform a project from a technical standpoint, the first risk we manage is that of our client. We need to understand their perspective, their position in the industry and what they have to lose. Our solution to their problem needs to embrace those points, as well as those related to CDI’s scope of work and task at hand.”

Mark Loizeaux, CDI President

CDI begins with engineering to see if the numbers match the company’s intuitive analysis for the likelihood of success, based on their experience in the demolition of thousands of structures. Not everything CDI does can be proven mathematically, because even with a set of original, as-built blueprints, a finite structural analysis would need to be performed to fully trust the data plugged into structural engineering formulas. “In order to achieve this level of trust, we would have to de-build the structure. Once this is done, there would be no need to implode it!” Mark points out.

The next step is to break the demolition down into a series of sequential tasks, with critical path management at each level, to ensure absolute control over the project’s successful outcome. This requires tremendous experience, extraordinary observation and management skills, and the ability to communicate clearly with not only the client, but also every single team member involved.

“We become the core clearing house for decision making, communication and performance. If we aren’t permitted this role, then we aren’t interested in the project,” states Mark. CDI takes this position because under common law in the United States, explosives-handling operations fall under strict or absolute liability. This means that operators are not considered innocent until proven guilty in the court’s eyes. Rather they are guilty until they can demonstrate their innocence. This puts CDI at extraordinary risk with regard to litigation, as the company’s insurance and reputation are first in line for claims.

EXPLOSIVE RELATIONSHIPS

Historically, the relationship between regulators and the demolition industry has been a tenuous courtship. “Regulators are accustomed to industries that rely on mathematical analysis and computer programs memorialized in technical publications and books,” observes Mark. While construction disciplines are taught in universities and there is a well-documented history of how to control a design/build process when a structure is erected, the same can’t be said for taking a structure apart. This is largely because the data on what actually exists in older, fatigued structures is too uncertain, and there is no large body of data or industry-sponsored groups to vouch for the data, as is the case in the construction industry. As a result, the National Demolition Association spends a great deal of money to educate regulators and maintain clear lines of communication.

“Regulatory agencies in our field don’t know as much about what we are doing as we do, particularly with regard to new and cutting-edge concepts. As a result, regulators tend to be more reactive than proactive, and show up once a problem has been identified at a demolition project.

Mark Loizeaux, CDI President

NORMALIZATION OF DEVIANCE

About a year before the credit crisis a small episode took place in the CDO market. There was a worry that the debt ratings on Ford and GM would be dropped below investment grade, causing a massive realignment of correlations. Some instruments were subsequently priced far outside of what the models had predicted. For a few weeks the market was quite concerned about these implications, but, ultimately, the expected downgrade did not occur and the market moved on.

Periodically situations like this occur where a small market disturbance suggests an underlying issue of model failure. Since no bank went under in these transactions and markets returned to normal, the models were not examined further. One possibly harmful outcome from the continued use of these models was that a false sense of security took hold, a behavior that practitioners in social and physical sciences must seek to avoid.

“I think it is more appropriate to say that what I learned from the financial industry is what I apply to the demolition industry: never risk more than you’re prepared to lose.”

Mark Loizeaux, CDI President

In the nuclear industry this phenomenon is referred to as normalization of deviance. Gee cites an example from the aerospace industry that underscores the potential damage a false sense of security brings. “NASA was using foam insulation to protect space shuttles from the heat caused by reentry into the earth’s atmosphere. The foam was known to come loose and damage the craft’s thermal protection system. This had happened four or five times and NASA management was aware of it, but it did not lead to a change in behavior.” As a result, a deviance occurred and became accepted as normal until an eventual catastrophe occurred and a shuttle disintegrated during reentry.

Cooling Tower Demolished in SRS Footprint Reduction

-Original article in the Aiken Standard-

In a matter of seconds, a $90 million structure that took three years to complete was reduced to millions of pounds of rubble as the cooling tower at Savannah River Site’s K-Reactor was imploded Tuesday.

The 450-foot-tall, 345-foot-wide tower was safely demolished Tuesday as part of the sitewide Footprint Reduction Initiative funded by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA). The second-largest cooling tower to be demolished worldwide, K Cooling Tower was completed in 1992. It was conceptualized to cool the water in a reactor in support of national defense initiatives, which were ceased soon after.

The demolition was managed by American Demolition and Nuclear Decommissioning Inc. with specialists Controlled Demolition Inc. handling the placement of explosives and implosion.

The total cost of the project is $3,982,430, which includes bringing down the tower, breaking up the larger pieces and then transporting the rubble to SRS’ on-site landfill.

“The cooling tower demolition project is unlike any other closure initiative taking place at the site,” said Dewitt Beeler, Savannah River Nuclear Solutions (SRNS) director of Area D&D Projects. “It isn’t every day that we deal with the demolition of a structure the size of the K Cooling Tower, and it was clear early in the process that we needed expert help.”

In all, more than 3,860 holes were drilled at strategically selected spots on the tower and loaded with explosives. The charges were detonated in a controlled fashion involving precise sequencing and timing to ensure the tower fell in a selected impact-zone.
“The demolition of the K Cooling Tower marks the achievement of a significant milestone in the Recovery Act mission at SRS,” said Rita Stubblefield, deputy federal project director for the Department of Energy. “It has allowed us to create new jobs while reducing the site’s cleanup footprint.”

Alaskan Tower Demolition Starts LORAN System Decommissioning

Original article with photos can be found by clicking here.

CDI’s video angles can be found on our YouTube Channel.

With cracks as sharp as the frozen Arctic air, a 1,357-ft steel communications tower in Port Clarence, Alaska, tumbled to the ground on April 28, the first step in the U.S. Coast Guard’s decommissioning of its network of LORAN radio navigation facilities across the country.

The 400-ton, 45-segment triangular steel tower is the largest man-made structure to be felled by explosives, according to Controlled Demolition Inc. (CDl), Phoenix, Md., which performed the operation as a subcontractor to Jacobs Field Services North America.

For nearly 50 years, the remote installation located 75 miles north of Nome was one of 24 land-based LORAN stations throughout the U.S. that broadcast low-frequency signals to help ships and aircraft determine speed and position. The increasing precision and reliability of GPS technology rendered LORAN obsolete. Its powerful transmitters were silenced in February.

The Coast Guard now has until Sept. 30 to determine the future of its LORAN installations, which include operational and support buildings, transmitters, towers, and, in some cases, full water and sewer systems.

While more remote facilities such as Port Clarence will be demolished, others may be repurposed within the Coast Guard and the U.S. Dept. of Homeland Security, or be transferred to other federal and state agencies.

“We’ve received approval to sell about one-third of the sites,” says Commander David Savatgy, commanding officer of the Coast Guard’s civil engineering unit In Juneau, Alaska. He adds that Coast Guard-owned properties such as the oceanfront LORAN station on Nantucket Island, Mass., may prove attractive to both public- and private-sector bidders.

“Any funds from property sales will be put back into the decommissioning program,” Savatgy adds.  “In the case of facilities on leased land, we’re talking with landowners to see what they want to do.”  But because it could be several years before some properties are transferred or demolished, the facilities will be hardened to BRAC Level III status, with no future reuse expected. “We’ll also assess the Coast Guard’s environmental liability at the sites,” he says.

Because of the Port Clarence tower’s deteriorated condition-three of the 21 oil-filled cylinders in its ceramic base insulator were cracked and empty-a controlled demolition was more cost-effective than manual dismantlement, which would have taken several weeks. And with the ground still frozen, Savatgy says it made sense to take down the tower before thawing turned the ground into a quagmire. “Otherwise, some of the fallen pieces might bury themselves up to 15 ft in the muck, complicating the clean-up work,” he adds.

CDl’s staged sequential detonation used 32 linear-shaped charge explosives, each weighing less than 10 Ib, to differentially release the 1/2- and 314-inch-thick structural guy and top loading element  (TLE) radial link plates, located just above the anchorages at grade. Forged bridge sockets were also charged at the radial locations.

The tower was felled in a folded method with 75% of its height released in a southerly direction, and the top restrained by the upper radial guys on the north side.

“Folding the top portion of the tower back on itself reduced the debris field without causing damage to a transmitter building containing friable asbestos located just 14 ft away,” says CDl President Mark Loizeaux.

Although the tower demolition was spectacular to witness, Savatgy admits that he and others feel a sense of loss at its demise. The Port Clarence station, with eight reinforced concrete buildings on foundations set in permafrost, was built in 11 months for $2.7 million. “It means the end of a mission that the Coast Guard has been doing for a long time:’ he says. 

Mark Loizeaux named as Top 25 Newsmaker of 2009 by Engineering News Record

Original article with photos can be found by clicking here
Follow-on article detailing ENR’s selection of Mark Loizeaux can be found by clicking here

The Top 25 Newsmakers of 2009

Many people serve to improve the construction industry every day. And each year, for 45 years, the editors of ENR have reviewed the stories they have written during the year and selected people featured in them for special recognition. They are chosen for delivering innovations, achievements and services that advance the construction industry. Additionally, each year one of them is honored with or our top award, the Award of Excellence. The identity of the Award of Excellence recipient will be revealed and the award presented on April 8, at the Award of Excellence gala in New York City. But first, in the pages that follow, ENR salutes all the Top 25 Newsmakers of 2009.

J. Mark Loizeaux

Loizeaux Triumphs Over His Most Daunting Implosion in More Than Four Decades

Loizeaux’s experience, expertise and dedication to safety led to the successful controlled demolition of a faulty Texas tower.

Mark Loizeaux has imploded some 2,000 structures in his four-plus decades with Controlled Demolition Inc., which was started by his late father, John. Mark has taken down cooling towers, arenas, stadiums, bridges, tall and short buildings, steel frames and concrete frames—all over the planet.

But none of his previous jobs match the implosion of the structurally ailing, 379-ft-9-in-tall Ocean Tower project in South Padre Island, Texas. After more than six months of intense preparation, CDI dropped that building successfully on Dec. 13, without injuries or incidents.

The topped-out, half-clad and partly furnished condominium tower was as close to a stumper as they come because it was a distressed, unstable hybrid structure. There was ongoing differential settlement between the unbonded post-tensioned concrete section at the base and the reinforced-concrete tower.

Observers say the failed structural elements looked as if they had been through an earthquake. Responsibility for the problem is the subject of litigation between the owner and the project’s geotechnical and structural engineers.

The distress meant Loizeaux could not rely on the structure’s behavior during the shoot. Beyond that, the site, surrounded by protected dunes, the Gulf of Mexico and roads, was hemmed in. Also, it was only 12 ft to the property line of a residential development.

Imagine Rodin’s “The Thinker.” That was Loizeaux on several occasions during the second half of last year, as he pondered his approach to the implosion. “A good deal of my time was spent sitting on a sand dune, a half mile away, looking at the building,” says Loizeaux. The job “was very provocative mentally,” he adds.

Loizeaux, who made eight trips to the site, says he also spoke “endlessly” with his brother and partner, Doug, about the strategy for imploding the building. Loizeaux knew he had to use delayed charges to straighten the slightly listing building, tilt it toward the Gulf and drop it into a pile of well-fractured rubble. But he says he was not sure of the specific timing of the implosion sequence until a week before the event.

“The implosion of Ocean Towers went so smoothly that it was as if we had rehearsed this several times,” says Javiar Vargas, South Padre Island’s assistant chief of police. “This was mainly due to the calm, collected manner of Mark and his experience and expertise.”

Loizeaux is not a stranger to these pages. For his expertise and other accomplishments, ENR has named Loizeaux a Newsmaker four times since 1972.

Faulty Tower’s Implosion Will Set New Height Record

By Nadine M. Post, for Engineering News Record November 25, 2009

Original article with photos can be found by clicking here

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.

CDI has never encountered such a heavily reinforced building. “We have never had to preblast openings in walls of a building we were going to implode,” says Loizeaux.

In broad strokes, the plan is to first straighten the tower, which has a slight tilt to the north, then tilt the tower to the east toward the Gulf of Mexico about 15 degrees and drop the tower vertically—all in about 12.5 seconds. But the devil is in the details, and CDI ranks the job as its second most difficult implosion, after Seattle’s Kingdome.

The tall, slender construction of the tower and its structural design and layout offer very few column lines and rotational reaction points to work with before all control over the structure is lost when it begins to fail vertically, says CDI. “The success of the implosion is, literally, going to turn on about 3.5 seconds of CDI’s delay sequence,” says Loizeaux. “After that, it’s in the hands of gravity.”

There also are complications related to the two-way, post-tensioned beam system at the base of the tower and in the parking garage. The many variables make Loizeaux “professionally concerned.”

The beachfront site isn’t helping. CDI has to design the collapse to avoid any impact on houses just 150 ft away, as well as nearby dunes, a road, other infrastructure and a park. The task would be easier if the tower were not founded on sand, which conducts vibrations.

“Everything looks like the vibration levels are well within safe limits for the adjacent buildings,” says David K. Miller, principal of Seismic Surveys Inc., Frederick, Md. The geotechnical consultant based its review on historic data from imploded tall buildings on beaches.

Debris remains a concern. To protect surroundings, workers are installing fencing, followed by geotextile screens, around columns, core walls and the periphery of the tower to floor 27. In front of the two nearest houses, CDI plans to build two- and three-story screens, covered with geotextile, each at least 100 ft long.

The development’s structural problems are attributed to differential settlement between its 33-story structural concrete tower and the three-level parking garage—200 ft x 238 ft in plan—on which the tower sits. Responsibility for the differential settlement, which reached 14 in. in places, is the subject of ongoing litigation.

The post-tensioning of up to 2,000 kips would have been challenging enough to accommodate in the implosion had the beam grid been complete. But there was a void left in garage slabs for the job’s tower crane, outside of the high-rise footprint (see slide 7). There, the lack of post-tensioning would create an uneven condition during an implosion. “If I get asymmetrical failure in garage columns surrounding the tower, it will cause the tower to skew out of the design path as it falls,” says Loizeaux.

To prevent this, CDI plans to equalize the condition by using explosives at the outset of the implosion to eliminate the post-tensioning on the opposite side of the garage before bringing the rest of the high-rise down.

Another headache, still unresolved, is how to handle the shores, highly engineered aluminum-alloy posts, installed to replace failed columns and beams. One idea is to put charges against the shores backed up with sandbags. Then, CDI would kick the shores out in concert with the tower implosion sequence. There are also 14-in.-deep H columns, in structural steel, under two failed tower columns. For this, CDI is considering using linear-shaped charges that would cut the steel during the implosion.

CDI decided to install cabling in the tower to provide structural integrity to “confidently” move the structure toward the east before starting the vertical failure. In all, crews are stringing and tensioning more than 3,000 ft of cable.

Crews have finished conventional pre-demolition of a 200-ft x 106-ft section of the garage, where the tower is designed to land. The clean concrete debris will act in concert with the exposed pile caps and piling to help direct debris impact energy at grade through the piling. That will reduce the energy available for a damaging surface wave, says Loizeaux.

CDI, which does not need permits for the implosion, has been in contact with the area’s various regulatory agencies. “CDI is worried about anybody entering the implosion zone,” says Javier Ch. Garza, South Padre Island’s interim chief of police who is coordinating security for the event. The biggest concern is pleasure boats filled with spectators, he says.