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How many engineers does it take to bring down a 10 storey smokestack?

After three failed attempts to demolish the massive structure at the former GM Transmission plant Monday, officials from the Windsor building department are stepping in.

until this point they tried to use brute force, but that not working, said John Revell, the chief building official for the City of Windsor. engineers are now trying an engineered approach, trying to drill holes in it and break a wedge shaped piece from the side. It should work just like chopping down a tree. Grainger, a civil engineer with GS Engineering Consultants Ltd., said this technique, called a cut, should have no trouble taking the smokestack down.

Grainger, who was not involved in the attempts to demolish the GM smokestack, was the engineer responsible for demolishing the smokestack at the former General Chemical site in Amherstburg. In that case, they used the cut without trying to implode the smokestack since they had so much room, he said.

Revell said Tuesday the tentative timeline is for the GM smokestack to come down before the middle of next week, likely on Friday. When it does, there will be a crash. The dynamite is isn’t effective on the steel, which prevented the smokestack from coming down, according to John Revell, Windsor’s chief building officer. (Provided by John Revell)

This type of building is called a structure. Revell said it difficult to implode these types of structures because dynamite isn effective on steel.

The company responsible for the demolition of the former GM plant Jones Group Ltd. said they had no comment on Monday failed implosion attempts.

Revell said the steel rods make the concrete incredibly strong and there isn any risk of the structure falling unexpectedly despite the building visible lean.

would take a wicked force, wind, lightning strike or something really phenomenal to bring that thing down, Revell said. moved and leaning slightly, but the smokestack probably more secure than it was before the blast. type of implosion demolition is rare in Windsor. The last time there was an implosion of this size was in 1997, when demolition experts brought down the smokestack at the old power plant in the city west end.

It also unusual for the city engineers to supervise the demolition plans this closely. Generally, the city only monitors a demolition for public safety and to determine whether contractors are licensed, Revell said.

didn realize what they were getting into initially, Revell said. building department is going to step in and supervise the work a little more closely to ensure there are some sound thoughts and principles brought to bear here. very worst case scenario here is that we try another demolition and it fails, he said.

On Monday, both police officers and firefighters were on the scene as demolition crews tried to bring down the building again and again.

Revell said the city is picking up the tab for the extra police presence while the Jones Group will be paying for the extra demolition crews and the cost of trying to demolish the smokestack again.

John Lee, fire prevention officer with the Windsor Fire Department, said the $120,000 demolition permit covers the cost of firefighters on scene.

Windsor police spokesman Const. Andrew Drouillard said it is police policy to not disclose how much any particular incident costs taxpayers.

Police were responsible for setting up a perimeter and monitoring the site, taking officers away from regular police duties. When the smokestack does come down, they be needed again, Revell said. hoped it be over in 10 minutes, Revell said. it dragged on and on. note: This story has been edited to clarify thatGlenn Grainger, a civil engineer with GS Engineering Consultants Ltd., was not involved in the attempts to demolish the GM smokestack.
amazon ugg slippers City officials monitoring smokestack demolition at former GM plant