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Old Posted Sep 25, 2009, 6:40 PM
Vicelord John Vicelord John is offline
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: Eastlake, Phoenix, Arizona
Posts: 5,404
anyone else gonna go?

Phoenix high-rise set to be imploded Sunday
17 comments by Sadie Jo Smokey - Sept. 25, 2009 08:04 AM
The Arizona Republic
At 10 a.m. Sunday morning, Lisa Kelly, owner of Advanced Explosives Demolition, will push a button. In 4.5 seconds, a bit of history at Third Street and Earll Drive will fall.

Residents and businesses neighboring the site say good riddance. Last spring, workers removed the building's windows, leaving a blighted skeleton of steel and concrete.

In 1972 when it was built, the Mountain Bell Plaza building was one of the first International Style glass-and-steel office high-rises in Phoenix. Designed by local architect Al Beadle, the building was a perfectly rectangular 10-story block of blackened glass. For 30 years, the building was home to Mountain Bell and Qwest Communications. Qwest moved out in 2003, and San Diego developer Joe Pinsonneault bought the building in mid-2004 for $12.5 million.

Jean Switzer lives with her elderly parents on Catalina Drive, one street south of the implosion site. As of Thursday, she said residents were confused and frustrated at the lack of communication and information about the impending implosion.

"I haven't received a flier," Switzer said. "Nothing about how to prepare, what to expect. Should we stay in our homes? Should we seal our windows? These are things that take a long time."

Phoenix spokeswoman Deborah Sedillo Dugan said a reverse 911 call Saturday evening will alert residents of the blast.

Laura Iten lives on Catalina Drive with her husband and 6-month-old son. She said her family will not be watching the demolition from their living-room window.

"I was really surprised that it was so soon and we hadn't heard anything about it," Iten said. "We'd like to, but it's way too close."

Kelly said the family-owned company has 27 years' experience using explosives to bring down high-rise buildings, smokestacks and bridges. The company recently imploded an asbestos plant in Newfoundland.

What to know about the implosion:

• A linear-shaped charge is used to sever steel. None l and Unimax products will be placed in holes drilled in the basement, stairwells and elevator shafts. There will be no adverse effect on utility services. Noise and vibration will be below levels that would cause damage to neighboring structures. "We have zero worries," Kelly said.

• Black geotextile wrapping will be placed from the ground to 30 feet high around the building to contain dust and debris. "The dangers and risks are minimum," Kelly said. "Our biggest concern was the (State Compensation Fund) building across the street." That building will have its own protective fencing installed.

• Maricopa County Air Quality Department said the asbestos abatement has been completed. Kelly said there will be less dust in the single implosion than would be released if the building were demolished one floor at a time, over a period of weeks.

• Kelly said residents can stay in their homes if they choose. Others can watch the implosion from 1,000 feet away.

"We've had up to 100,000 people show up to watch," Kelly said. "Police will have a soft closure on streets 30 minutes before."

• The following intersections will be closed from about 9:30 to 10:30 a.m.: Fifth Street and Verde Lane, Third Street and Verde Lane, Second Street and Catalina Drive, Second Street and Earll Drive, Third Street and Cheery Lynn Road, Fifth Street and Cheery Lynn Road, Seventh Street and Earll Drive.
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