Big boom a big bust

The local media, particularly the daily, have been blathering about and hyping it for weeks. “It” was the plan to use explosives to bring down in one fell swoop a 202-foot concrete feed mill not too far from downtown Sioux Falls. The mill would be removed for commercial development and, in the dreams of city planners, an events center.

Marketed heavily as BOOM!, there was a raffle to push the demolition button, tickets sold for various observation parties nearby and live television coverage. The demolition is a bust (Quicktime file). For whatever reason, instead of bringing down the entire building, the explosives allowed the east side of the structure to sink into the basement. The structure still stands, albeit at a significant tilt and only about 30 feet less tall than it was before. The plan now is to do things the old-fashioned way — bring in a ball and chain to knock the thing down starting Monday.

With respect to old-fashioned ways, this is either either a testament to the quality of construction nearly 50 years ago or the fact that even the best laid plans…. One thing is certain. With all the hype the developers and media generated, it’s one of the funniest things I’ve seen in years, as it evidently also was to those whose voices were caught on the video link above.


Homer Simpson

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