Owego company triggers big blast

By Brandi Bailey

March 10, 2014 Updated Mar 11, 2014 at 8:50 AM EST

(WBNG Binghamton) The New York State Department of Transportation's schedule is packed with projects. One project upstate is packing a big bang.

Jack Williams is the Region 9 DOT Director. He's also the acting director for Region 2.

Earlier this month Williams worked with a local company, Peak Environmental to oversee the demolition of the Fay Street Warehouse in Utica.

The warehouse is part of a $62 million project to reconstruct the North/South Arterial.

"That building had to come down to be able to construct the new viaduct. We had a choice. We could take it down by conventional means or the contractor suggested we take a look at controlled implosion," Williams said.

Taking the building down conventionally would have taken more time and additional risk.

Williams calls the implosion the most exciting in his 30 year career.

"To actually implode a building that's only seven feet away from the viaduct of the North/South arterial was quite interesting at best," Williams said.

Planning was essential for the blast, making sure workers and residents were safe.

"You basically demo everything that's in the building except for the basic structure. As soon as that building goes down anything inside becomes a projectile," said Peak Environmental President, Marcus O’Rourke Jr. "With very heavy steel cables basically cabled the back of the building to the front lower part of the building.”

Both the DOT and Peak Environmental say the success of the project depended on strategic planning and cooperation.

The Utica blast project can be tracked on Facebook by searching Utica North-South Arterial.

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