My normal drive to work carries me right past the Bristol-Myers Squibb “Site Transformation” on a daily basis. Each morning I am teased with rows of waiting scrap trucks and giant buildings becoming smaller and smaller with each passing moment. After visiting the site with Dan on Saturday I decided the time had finally come to stop by early in the morning when activity seemed to be highest. It would turn out to be the best decision made all week. Not a bad thing to happen on a Monday!
To start I was able to grab a few shots of waiting Empire Recycling trucks. Usually a side parking lot is filled with three or four trucks from various haulers at any one time. Some are hauling scrap metal while others load up with general demoliton waste. This morning it was just the two Empire trucks making a loop from site to scrap yard.
I wandered up and down the sidewalk for two or three minutes aimlessly taking photos of passing truck traffic on Thompson Rd. Not much was happening that I hadn’t seen two days earlier. The Cat 973C was still busy preparing the ramp while a Bobcat raced back and forth looking for small bits of steel. Further down the street other machines sorted through a mountain of material looking for metal. I was starting to think my visit was going to be bust when workers began to spray down the ramp and surrounding area with fire hoses. Dust control! Moments later the largest excavator on site (A Case CX800) began moving toward the gashed open building. The operator spent a few minutes adding more material to his ramp while compacting down the existing fill with his bucket. Slowly moving to the edge he began poking at the building. The large bucket was able to knock loose a few bricks and other dangling bits but was ineffective for the most part. After toying around for a bit the Case spun around and drove out of view. It seems strange that a machine this large could disappear but there is a large trench that surrounds the building. From day one this has been a real PITA when it comes to grabbing photos and video. As quickly as the machine left it was back but this time with a new attachment. I’m not sure if this a home made piece or not but it was effective. For the lack of a better term I will call it the poking stick. The poking stick appeares to be nothing more than a flat piece of steel that is tapered in on both sides only to flare back out and form hooks. It reminds be a flat or thin hammer. The flat head allowed for the operator to break holes in the wall or tear down steel beams. It truly is a simple idea that allows for maximum versatility. Best of all it has no moving parts to service or fail.
The dust was really starting to billow by this point despite two workers hosing down the buildings and machines. The poking stick was making short work of interior walls and a now exposed stairwell. It wasn’t long before the steel staircase smashed to earth with a satisfying crash. Attention could now be turned to a gashed open freight elevator shaft. Extending the boom to full length and moving closer to the end of the ramp the Case and its operator attempted to hook a corner of the exposed segment. They came close many times but the hook was failing to catch anything solid. From my view point it looked the machine was just a few feet too short but I was soon proved wrong. Finally the poking stick caught the corner of a beam and with slight tug a five story corner of the building tumbled to earth. The dust cloud that resulted was thick and brought work to a halt. *SIMPSONS REFERENCE* The water hoses. They do nothing! Eventually the dust drifted off to the west (passing me completely) and work resumed. By this time my watch was telling to hit the road so I snapped a few more shots and moved on to my day job.
If you bothered to read the little story that preceded you can watch the video of the actual events in HD!