Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Best Free Entertainment In Town

South Burlington, VT

Every morning while at Jen's, I walk over to the airport to enjoy my morning coffee and the views.   I walk past a big project in progress.  The airport bought 30-50 houses on the bordering streets.  Now they are demolishing all of them.  The demolition is the best free entertainment in town.  (The purpose and ultimate plan of this project, I don't know.)

 First comes the preparation.  Representatives of the gas, electric, water, phone, and cable companies come.  Each marks the paths of their underground facilities, and verifies that service has been shut off.  They paint markings on the pavement with painted codes.

This process is more complicated than it could be because not all the houses in each section will be demolished.  Homeowers had to opt in to get their properties bought.  Not all did.  Therefore, instead of cutting off gas service (for example) at the main for a whole block, the underground network must be maintained for any customers remaining on that street.

Next comes the hazmat people.  They pull out any asbestos or hazardous material.  That takes time.

Next, they pull out salvageable items from the interior.  Kitchen cabinets, toilets, sinks for example.  I did not see them pulling pipes or wires but they probably did that too.

Then, if the house has metal or vinly siding, men pull that off by hand, and put it in a dumpster.   Then comes a special machine on a steam shovel base that scrapes off all the asphalt shingles from the roof and puts them into a dumpster.   Segregating all these materials into separate dumpsters makes recycling easier.

Finally comes the actual demoliiton.  A shovel with a claw tool just grabs chunks and puts them in a dumpster.  This process goes extremely fast.  I watched them do a garage in only 120 seconds!  See the picture below.

Then a back hoe comes in, breaks up the concrete foundation, and deposits the chunks in a dumpster.

Finally, they clean and grade the entire block, making it ready to plant some kind of ground cover.  Picture below.   The process, not including preparation took 48 hours per half-city-block.

Below are some pictures of some of the houses waiting demolition.  Some look ready for it.  Others look pristine, as if they should have real estate for sale signs in front.

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