Dykon Implodes New Orleans' High-Rise
For D.H. Griffin Of Texas

Two Companies Cooperate With NIST Disaster Research

At exactly 9:00 am on Sunday, January 25, 2004, NADC-members D.H. Griffin of Texas, Inc. (DHGT) and Dykon Explosive Demolition Corp., Inc. imploded the Fischer high-rise building located in New Orleans for the city's Housing Authority. The Fischer high-rise building, built in 1966, was a 14-story concrete structure that stood 150 feet tall, 314 feet long and 50 feet wide. This was the first building to be imploded in New Orleans and took on a Mardi Gras flavor. Spectators came from all over the New Orleans area and some from as far away as Mississippi to see the implosion.

Prior to the implosion, workers prepared the structures for the explosives by drilling over 1000 bore holes and loading explosive charges in each position. The building was a column and shear wall structure. The end walls were shear walls and every third column line was also a shear wall. These shear walls were partially removed to create columns on each of the four blast floors. Bore holes were then drilled and loaded with 100 to 300 grain detonating cord. Each of the columns on the blast floors was loaded with 1 and ¼ inch x 8-inch emulsion charges. A non-electric system was used with a ½ second delay between echelons.

Prior to the implosion D.H. Griffin of Texas, Inc., the General Contractor for the project, oversaw the removal of all asbestos-containing materials, PCB-contaminated light ballasts, fluorescent light bulbs as well as any paints and solvents that were left behind by the Owner.

The project ran the gamut of tasks that demolition contractors routinely perform. Community relations proved a very important part of the project due to its location. The project required extensive planning and coordination with a very diverse group of concerned parties such as local residents, two public schools within the safety perimeter and the Crescent City Connection better known as The Mississippi Bridge. It was decided that during the actual implosion the bridge would be shut down for five minutes as a safety measure. D.H. Griffin of Texas and Dykon executed the work in a "good neighbor" manner keeping in mind that there were homes, schools and businesses within the immediate area of the structure.

Once the site is cleared of all debris, Griffin will oversee the removal of all slabs, pile caps and streets within the boundary of the project, backfilling and regarding of the entire site in preparation for new construction.

A most interesting part of the project was the involvement of the United States Department of Commerce's National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST). NIST contacted both D.H. Griffin and Dykon requesting that they be involved in the project in order to do research in the development of radio and cell phone frequencies that will penetrate a collapsed building or structure The idea is to develop frequencies to be used in the future in the event of a 9/11-type catastrophe. The problem they are attempting to overcome will allow radio and cell phone frequencies to better transmit in the event that a fireman, policeman or civilian is trapped under a pile of debris.

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