What to know about Dominion Energy’s upcoming tower implosion

Richmond

RICHMOND, Va (WRIC) — Fifteen blocks of downtown Richmond will be restricted Saturday, as 21-stories of concrete and steel are set to be reduced to rubble. 

Dominion Energy’s once-occupied office building along East Canal and Cary streets is scheduled to be imploded around 7:00 a.m.

After Dominion’s new glass-encased tower opened next door in 2019, partial demolition began on the old office building; erected in the 1970s.

Similar in stature to dominion’s building, implosion subcontractor Controlled Demolition Incorporated (CDI) helped bring another office tower to the ground in Kentucky back in 2018. 

CDI is working with demolition contractor D.H. Griffin Wrecking Company on the Dominion project, and says open ears can first expect to hear, “basically hear nine individual large bangs. Bang, bang, bang, bang, bang. Nothing’s going to happen.”

Mark Loizeaux, president of CDI, says the initial noise is from the initiation system. Then, with the help of dynamite, more bangs will go off in a matter of seconds.

“The dynamite that we’re using, it’s a high-velocity nitroglycerin-based explosives. We’re using 3,270 pounds of it, he said.

“What you’re going to see is the charges start off at the basement, first basement level, and then you’ll see a flash of light going up the north face of the building. Then just watch, it will be very interesting.”

Protective measures are already seen on site: stacked shipping containers, netting on and away from the building are present to the act as a shield to neighboring buildings once gravity takes its course.

D.H. Griffin Regional Manager Will Booker says they have well-documented the conditions of surrounding buildings–in case one were to become damaged as a result of implosion. Booker says D.H. Griffin would be liable for any possible damage.

Weather does have the ability to delay implosion. In the event of a wash-out, a Dominion Energy representative says implosion will be rescheduled to Sunday.

Because dust is set to kick up when the building falls, residents and those working downtown are asked to keep their windows and doors shut an hour before and after the building comes down. 

A Dominion Energy representative told 8News that plans how to repurpose the land below have not yet been finalized.

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