City releases new details on city hall demolition

City releases new details on city hall demolition

POSTED: Tuesday, March 26, 2013 - 3:19pm

UPDATED: Tuesday, March 26, 2013 - 7:38pm

The City of El Paso released details on the demolition of city hall. Crews will tear it down to make room for a Triple-A ballpark.

The city is working to make sure it's a safe demolition and everyone is aware of what's going on.

The city has done several studies to prepare for the demolition, including tests for hazardous materials.

Crews were already removing asbestos from the building.

On demolition day, the city will set up an emergency command center that will include police and fire departments, TxDOT, EPDOT, utilities officials and Union Pacific Railroad.

Crews will use explosives starting in the northeast corner of the building to make sure it falls away from the train way, which is only 50 feet away.

City engineer, Alan Shubert said it will take 8 seconds for the building to come down.

One of the big concerns is dust, which will take about 15 minutes to settle.

For the next couple of weeks, city officials will go door to door to talk to nearby residents. They're asking everyone to close their windows and turn off their air conditioners.

"There is no mandatory evacuation. People are welcome to stay home if they want to. We just want them inside. We don't want people outside. We don't want them exposed to that dust cloud and anything associated with that," said Shubert.

The city said if you're nearby you won't feel vibrations, but you may feel something else.

"What you feel as a blast when a building like this comes down is an expulsion of the amount of air that inside it. We have a gigantic column of air here and when you compress it in 8 seconds. Is more like a fireworks show where you're going to feel a rush of air but from a vibration standpoint that's not the same thing," said Shubert.

Streets within a 500 foot radius of city hall will be closed beginning somewhere between 6 a.m. and 8 a.m. on April 14. Also, starting at 8 a.m., no trains will be allowed through the area.

The demolition is set for 9 a.m. because it’s the best time to stop trains and stop traffic on I-10.

Once the building is down, it will take 1,000 truckloads to take it the debris away. Crews will clear the area at the end of April.

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