Implosion of the Martin tower: the weather is beautiful and what to expect on Sunday morning


Speaking to about 200 people at a community meeting earlier this month on the implosion of Martin Tower, the demolition expert, Jim Santoro, said the Weather conditions could play a role in everything that goes as planned.

If visibility is poor, in case of heavy fog or heavy rain, the implosion may be delayed. Same thing for a thunderstorm moving in the area.

"As long as everything will go 100% for security," said Robert Novatnack, director of emergency management in Bethlehem, at the meeting at the Nitschmann Middle School. "If it's not 100%, then it's a no-go."

On Saturday afternoon, the forecast announces favorable for the demolition work to proceed as scheduled at 7 pm Sunday, according to the national meteorological service.

"At the moment, it looks like it will be pretty calm," said meteorologist Alex Staarmann, of the Philadelphia-area weather forecast office in Mount Holly, New Jersey. "We will have light southwest winds around 5 mph, temperatures will be in the 60's." The sky will be partly cloudy.

"And the chances of rain during this period are quite low, they are only 10%," he said, "there may be light rain, but it will not matter."

The Maryland, Maryland-based company, for which Santoro is working, says in its Pennsylvania Environmental Protection Department blasting permit that it plans to demolish between 7 and 10 am in the old headquarters. Global Bethlehem Steel Corp.

The National Weather Service predicts an increase in rainfall risk between 11:00 am and 2:00 pm, followed by a possibility of showers and thunderstorms after 2:00 pm. The thunderstorm threat is greatest towards the end of the afternoon and early evening, Staarmann said.

Thomas Doud III, Field Operations Manager for Controlled Demolition, told on Saturday that he did not anticipate any delays due to weather conditions.

"We expect shortly after 7:00 am if security allows it," he said.

Among the other potential reasons for delay, there is a person who has violated the exclusion zone around the Martin Tower property, 1170 Eighth Ave. This exclusion zone will be closed to the public from 6 am and will be applied by the municipal police. Road closures begin around the tower at 5 am

Controlled demolition plans to destroy the Martin tower with explosive charges placed on the columns of the building, and to explode them sequentially with non-electric internal delay detonators.

"This sequential detonation will control the rate and direction of the fall of the structure to the east, which will produce post-implosion debris located within the boundaries of the demolition site," says the clearance document. the DEP.

According to the permit, approximately 350 pounds of charges are used, as well as 88 pounds of dynamite.

The schedule for the Sunday morning demolition is as follows:

  • Bethlehem police begin to close the exclusion zone.
  • 6:45 Confirmation that the security zone is clear.
  • 6:58 Two 5-second sirens sound, indicating that 2 minutes sound.
  • 6:59 am: Three 1-second sirens sound an audible signal. ("Note: If security or other problems prevent the implosion from occurring, the countdown is put on hold after one minute and resumes as soon as these issues are resolved.")
  • 6 h 59 min 45 s Final confirmation that the safety zone is clear.
  • 6:59:50 An audible countdown of 10 on Controlled Demolition radios is done.
  • 7 am Explosives fell from Martin tower.
  • 07:05: Controlled demolition will inspect the demolition area and emit an extended beep to designate "All Cleared".

The building should collapse within 13 to 16 seconds after detonator initiation and form a pile of debris with an average height of approximately 45 feet.

Once the "Cleared All" has been given, the contractors will start cleaning the dust and removing any "adjacent property protection previously placed".

Owners Norton Herrick and Lewis Ronca, operating under HRP Management LLC, are redeveloping the $ 200 million site with 528 luxury garden-style apartments; medical office buildings; a 132-room hotel; retail; a restaurant and a gas station.

Kurt Bresswein can be reached at [email protected]. Follow him on Twitter @KurtBresswein and Facebook. Find on Facebook.

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