There will be dust.
That’s according to the state Finance and Administration Cabinet’s second list of what it says will be a series of compiled questions and answers leading up to the Capital Plaza Tower’s implosion on Sunday, March 11, at 1:30 p.m.
The news release issued Thursday doesn’t directly address The State Journal’s reader-generated question of what environmental monitoring will be done after the implosion to ensure the safety of the air and water in the area.
However, in addressing the potential for groundwater contamination from explosives, the state called that possibility “unfounded.”
“Consider that every bit of rock blasted to create aggregate for concrete, metal ore that is mined for production of different metal products, coal that is blasted and other material generated through blasting operations in the U.S and … worldwide … would be contaminated, which is simply not the case,” the release said.
The state also reiterated that many dust-generating materials such as acoustical ceiling tile, pipe insulation, wood paneling and doors, carpeting, drywall and asbestos-containing materials have all been removed from the Capital Plaza Tower.
“Again, dust is the unavoidable byproduct of all types of demolition — so there will be dust,” the release said. “How much dust will be generated is unknown. Wind direction, speed and other climate factors will impact how far dust may travel or how fast it settles. The quantity of dust created throughout this demolition process is the same as would be created by conventional demolition. The advantage of implosion is that the dust is created at one, predetermined time. It is not present over an extended period of time.”
According to the release, the Capital Plaza Tower is a pre-cast concrete structure, which will generate dust that is heavier and generally does not travel the same distances prior to falling out of the air that dust from brick masonry buildings does. Nevertheless, the state warns those with respiratory problems that would be aggravated by dust to stay indoors during and immediately after the demolition.
The demolition will be broadcast live on the Frankfort Plant Board Facebook page and cable channels 10 and 510 (HD).
For those wishing to view the implosion in person, an upper deck area behind the Watts Federal Building will be limited to 350 people due to weight capacity issues, the release said. There will be a brief ceremony on the deck area between the Watts Federal Building and the YMCA that will begin at 1 p.m. and conclude at 1:15 p.m.
The implosion will also be preceded by two, two-second-long warning sirens indicating two minutes before the blast and one two-second long siren one minute before the blast. A countdown will begin 10 seconds before the blast.
Fort Hill and River View Parks will both be closed, the release said.
All streets adjacent to the “exclusion zone” — a 700-foot buffer on all sides of the tower — will also be closed at various times throughout the morning and afternoon of the implosion. Those include Mero Street from Wilkinson Boulevard to Ann Street and Lewis Street, closed from Clinton to Mero starting at 9 a.m. Clinton Street from Wilkinson to Ann Street and the West Frankfort Connector bridges from Wilkinson to Taylor Avenue wjll be closed starting at 12:30 p.m. on implosion day.
There will be no parking on Lewis Street from Clinton to Mero and on Ann Street from Clinton to Mero or in the lot behind the Old Capitol and Annex, the release said. Restricted parking will be available at the Farmer’s Market and YMCA lots at Wilkinson and Broadway.
Drones will be permitted as long as they stay at least 300 feet away from the building and abide by the local, state or federal regulations governing drone usage, the release said.
This Sunday, the company handling the tower’s demolition, Controlled Demolition Inc., will conduct a test blast between 2 p.m. and 4 p.m. This allows CDI to physically determine the densities of the concrete in the tower, which, in turn, will determine the necessary weight of explosives needed for the volume of concrete, the release said.
“A test blast is of the utmost importance as it will ensure that only the minimum amount of explosives are used in the implosion,” the release said. “For example, if a structural element being blasted is ‘under loaded,’ then the implosion may be jeopardized. If a structural element is ‘overloaded,’ there is risk of debris scattering further, excessive vibration and high overpressure (noise); all of which are unacceptable.”
For the test blast, no roads will be closed, according to the release. CDI will use two seismographs to monitor that blast.