The failure of the Silverdome was supposed to be epic. Demolition crews had placed explosive charges at key structural points throughout the old stadium. The blast was supposed to level the aging concrete and steel and make a nice pile of rubble that would be easy to haul away in dump trucks. That didn’t happen.
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Instead, the charges popped and the building stood strong. If it were in Boston, the memes would be obvious. This is Detroit, though. The city is trying hard to shed its image of urban decay.
Just what happened? It isn’t clear. The concrete is likely reinforced by a net of steel rebar that is doing exactly what it is designed to do.
“Explosives were placed on each of the steel beams that support the Silverdome’s upper ring. The blasts were intended to break the beams and cause the colossal ring to come crashing down,” WDIV reported.
According to those responsible for the blasts, the steel beams were cut. The structure will fall, though it is uncertain when. It may be so perfectly balanced and strong that it will require more effort to start the eventual collapse.
The stadium was built in the early 1970s and hosted the Detroit Lions from 1975 until 2002.
Commentators reveled in the confusion, as would be expected. The crew responsible for the demolition, though, were less amused by the perplexing situation. They’re the one who will now have to navigate the removal of a structure that is, purposefully, on the verge of collapse.
Tis the season for dome explosion disappointments. This one is from the Georgia Dome in November