“We opted to bring in two cranes to not only shorten the removal time needed but more importantly to sequence the sections removed in an alternating pattern in order to keep the remain loads of the dome skeleton in equilibrium as much as possible,” said Joe Ramon III, project manager. The contractor completed the dome roof removal in 12 working days.
The “rear of house” structures included a 10-story stage house that was scheduled to come down. “This task was a little tricky," said Aaron Flotte, project superintendent. "Because of existing live underground electrical duct banks, the structure to remain and the proximity of San Antonio Riverwalk (35 feet away from the 10-story structure and publicly occupied), the crew had a very small space to drop the building into. The structure had no intermediate floors. It was all one large open cavity. We were also very cognoscente of the impact vibrations that could disturb the delicate stone facade on the structure to remain.”
It took thee days to strategically prep the structure to be tripped down. With the use of the Komatsu High-Reach and Stanley LaBounty UP 25 SV, the final member was cut from a safe distance. The structure came tumbling down, and all debris fell into the building’s own footprint."
Salvaging and recycling
The Municipal Auditorium yielded over 1,500 tons of ferrous metals, 10 tons of non-ferrous metals and approximately 6,000 tons of concrete and other inert materials.
In addition to architectural features and fixtures salvaged for the owner’s reuse in the new structure, many other components were carefully removed and packaged for resale.
“We achieved a 90.07 percent recycle rate of all debris generated from this project. Many people perceive demolition as a destructive act. We are glad to do our part in showing that historic preservation is another facet of the demolition industry," said Timothy Ramon.
Equipment and Crews
- Over 55 employed throughout demolition process including: skilled labors, equipment operators, riggers, burners, truck drivers and safety
- Company-owned Komatsu equipment including: PC-18 mini-excavators, SK 1020 skid steers, WA-250 loader, PC-35MR mini-excavator, a PC-138, three PC-300’s and two PC-400’s, one equipped with a Jewell built custom High-Reach boom with 95 feet of reach
- Demolition attachments were used to cut, break, gather and load materials
- Komatsu PC-400 with 20 year old Pemberton mechanical concrete pulverizer
- PC-300s with a Stanley LaBounty-built grapple, Pemberton Live thumb and a Stanley LaBounty UP40
- Allied Hydraulic breakers ranging from 400 up to 7,500 pounds assisted with concrete breaking
- Brokk 180 and Atlas Copco hydraulic breaker and concrete crackingjaw helped with some structural selective demolition in the front entry (i.e. removing two 18-inch-thick concrete pedestrian ramps that accessed the upper levels)
Under the scrutiny of six reviewing entities throughout the demolition operations, safety was the most integral aspect of the demolition project. The owners had hired construction managers, engineering firms, architectural firms, safety inspectors, quality control firms, and even photography and video documenting companies to “oversee” the project. The scrutiny placed on safety ensured that all workers were not only properly trained in their tasks with current certificates of training but had sufficient experience in their jobs to identify and abate any potential safety hazards.
Required training for workers included crane operators’ certifications, welding certifications, 10-hour OSHA, 30-hour OSHA, fall protection, lead awareness, asbestos awareness, HAZWOPER, spill management, CPR, and first aid. Routine evacuation drills were performed throughout the project, and evacuation routes were discussed at every daily tool-box safety meeting to accommodate the ever-changing site conditions
J.R. Ramon & Sons completed the project with no time lost injuries or incidents.