Sunday, July 11, 2010

CAT 31:05

Although the extraction of the huge gantry crane out through the east wall of the QVC building was by far and away the action with the greatest threat to the fossil resources, the demolition of the rotunda remained a real concern. This two-story cinder block structure housed the bookstore, some offices, the all important visitor bathrooms, and contained the entrance and exit for the visiting public. Its instability was a major threat to visitors in the QVC and there were lingering concerns about its stability well after the building was evacuated (see more on this in my July 5 post By The Way, Did I Happen To Mention How I Feel About Accordion Music?

Although a few more beams and some concrete flooring are still to be removed elsewhere in the building, the demolition of the rotunda was the last major planned bit of destruction. I’m happy to say that it went smoothly. Rather than pull it down, it was pushed inwards from all sides so that at the end there was a neat pile rather than concrete and cinderblock chunks scattered around the parking lot. Two years to design. Eighteen months to build. Yet it only took a skilled CAT operator 31 minutes and 5 seconds to bring it down.

Really the pictures are a better testament than anything I can write, so I’ll just let the photos do the talking. We are working on an edited video of this part of the project and I’ll alert readers when it is available.

Photos courtesy of Dinosaur National Monument.

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