CDI began to receive calls from various demolition contractors in 2015 regarding the implosion of the 567,000 sf, 21-story, former Bethlehem Steel Headquarters in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania. CDI quoted the project on no less than five (5) occasions over the next four (4) years, finally being asked by the Property Owner, HRP Management, to design and perform the implosion directly for them and their selected demolition contractor, once of spray-on ACM fireproofing and other environmental remediation was completed at the site.
CDI worked with the Owner, the City of Bethlehem and the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (PA DEP) to finalize an Implosion Plan and detailed Community Outreach Program toward minimizing impact on the adjacent community. That community included six (6) different St. Luke’s Medical Center facilities, the closest of which was just 65’ to the west of the 332’ tall office building.
CDI’s plan had to include handling of 5” thick steel flanges on main columns in the structure which supported 60’ long clear-span office areas in the four (4) wings of the tower. The Implosion Plan developed by CDI called for displacement of the tower structure as far as possible to the southeast to spread the debris out at the site. CDI torchmen prepared columns for primary linear shaped charge placement on five (5) levels of the structure, and modified splice plates on another five (5) floors, in less than ten (10) days, toward creating the lowest possible, well fragmented debris pile to facilitate post-implosion debris removal by the developer and his selected debris removal contractor.
Immediately adjacent to the Martin Tower site was the St. Luke’s Hospital Medical complex. Six (6) different St. Luke’s outpatient facilities were on the west and north sides of the structure. CDI’s Community Outreach Program included communications with facility managers of those medical campus structures to ensure that dust created by the project did not compromise same. CDI also had to work closely with Lehigh Valley International Airport, given that its flight path for the main runway passed directly above the Martin Tower complex and there was an expectation that the implosion dust plume might, under still air conditions, rise to the level of that point given the glide slope for aircraft approach.
The implosion was successfully carried out on May 19, 2019, without any damage, whatsoever, to adjacent improvements and infrastructure. The resultant debris pile was just 22’ above grade.
Click HERE to watch the Martin Tower implosion.