(FLINT, Mich. – Dec. 18, 2013) The countdown is on! In only four days Flint’s tallest building, the historic Genesee Towers, will be blasted using an implosion process designed to allow the building to collapse within its own footprint. The demolition is scheduled to take place on Sunday, Dec. 22 at 10:00 a.m.
Demolition of the deteriorating 19-story building is a critical step in the continued redevelopment efforts of the downtown area. Exploration Park, a public park and learning space will replace the long-unused building. The park project coincides with the redevelopment of the neighboring Flint Journal properties that will house the new Flint Farmers Market, MSU Public Health program, lofts and retail space.
“I want to congratulate the demolition team for doing a yeoman’s job on preparing to bring the Genesee Towers down,” said Uptown Reinvestment Corporation (URC) President Tim Herman. “They have worked hard to ensure the safety of the adjacent properties and people living and working in the area throughout the demolition process and on the day of the implosion.”
Public safety is the top priority for the demolition team. A police-enforced safety perimeter has been established for the day of the implosion that encompasses Third Street on the south, Beach Street on the west, Harrison to Kearsley to Wallenberg to First on the north and southbound Chavez Drive on the east (see attached Safety Perimeter Map.b). It is strongly recommended that the public stay home and watch the implosion live on local media outlets including WJRT-TV12, WNEM-TV5, WEYI-TV25 and MLive-The Flint Journal web site.
Members of the public in the downtown area prior to and during the implosion event will be directed by Flint Police to areas outside the safety perimeter. There will be no public access within the safety perimeter.
There will be a designated press area in the Command Post in the Harrison Parking Deck at the corner of Harrison and Kearsley streets. Filming and live streaming from this location would be permitted from this area. The media contact on Dec. 22 is Elaine Redd, Director of Communications & Public Relations for the Flint & Genesee Chamber of Commerce.
A press briefing is scheduled for Friday, Dec. 20 at 10 a.m. at the Flint & Genesee Chamber of Commerce offices. On hand to make remarks and answer questions will be:
- Dave Lurvey, Project Manager, who will provide an overview on demolition preparations.
- Steve Pettigrew, Chief Demolition Manager, who will explain how the implosion event will progress and provide details of the demolition process.
- A representative from the City of Flint Police Department, who will discuss public safety and security protocols.
Evacuation notification. All addresses located within the safe zone (Approx. 600 feet from the Towers) which require evacuation have been notified and contractors have placed protective covering on nearby buildings.
Command Post. A designated command post will be set up on the perimeter of the safe zone for Flint Police and Fire personnel, Consumers Energy and City of Flint Water Department staff, implosion team staff and Genesee County Sheriff Paramedics.
Public viewing area. It is strongly recommended that the public stay home and watch the implosion live on local media outlets including WJRT-TV12, WNEM-TV5, WEYI-TV25 and MLive-The Flint Journal web site. Members of the public in the downtown area prior to and during the implosion event will be directed by Flint Police to areas outside the safety perimeter. The most likely site is the plaza area in front of Riverfront Residence and Conference Center on Saginaw Street. Be aware that streets will be blocked to through traffic in an area larger than the safety perimeter. (See attached Detour Map)
Implosion event. The actual implosion will be at 10 a.m. and will last approximately six seconds. Contract Drilling & Blasting, a nationally recognized implosion firm will place many small explosive charges at critical locations on the structure. These charges will detonate at intervals to dominate the direction of fall.
Effect of implosion on gas lines, water lines, electrical service. There will be no adverse effect on utility services as a result of the implosion operations.
Post implosion. Following the implosion, the Flint Police department will continue to hold the perimeter as implosion staff and utility personnel complete an initial safety inspection. When the site is determined to be “clear for clean-up,” the demolition team will spend the remainder of the day doing clean-up and assisting adjacent property owners in re-opening buildings safely.
Re-opening the Safety Perimeter. The safety perimeter will be re-opened in three stages. The original perimeter will be maintained initially. The next stage will be the first confined perimeter bounded by Saginaw Street on the west, midway between First and Kearsley Street on the north, along First to Stevens on the east and Second Street on the south. The third and final containment zone will be bounded by Brush Alley on the west, First Street on the north, Stevens Street on the east and Second Street on the south. All streets, except Brush Alley will be open to through traffic with implementation of the final containment zone.