Total Wrecking PR Lakeland Power Plant

LAKELAND MCINTOSH POWER PLANT IN FLORIDA IS ONE OF OUR MOST AMBITIOUS INDUSTRIAL DEMOLITION PROJECTS YET

Total Wrecking & Environmental is no stranger to massive industrial demolition projects that span multiple years and require specialized crews of uniquely certified experts. As a matter of fact, it’s these types of projects that have become their forte. From the Jacksonville Electric Authority (JEA) Project demolition of 2 massive cooling towers that produced a whopping 1634 megawatts to 2015’s New York State Fairgrounds demolition that saw the demolition of the iconic grandstand along with 11 massive building structures, demolition projects of monumental scale and surgical expertise is the Total Wrecking brand.

The Lakeland McIntosh Power Plant in Florida, like all industrial demolition projects, has plenty of unique challenges, hazards, and complexities that require surgical precision from the industry’s most qualified and experienced professionals. As the project gets underway in Lakeland during the summer of 2022, the process that ultimately led to Total Wrecking being awarded the project is just as interesting – and important – as the work that lies ahead.

In the post below, experts on the ground leading the project inform everything from how they won the bid, the most pressing challenges as work commences, and the massive (and admittedly exciting) industrial demolition work that lies ahead during the 1.5 – 2 year project timeline.

EARNING (NOT “WINNING”) THE BID

There’s a toxic commonality across the industrial demolition industry, as well as construction (both residential and commercial) as a whole: chasing the lowest bid for the sake of earning additional work. This practice almost always comes at the expense of either A) safety, B) time, or C) professionalism. Contractors, sadly, will cut corners – even at the risk of their own employees – if it means they can earn the lowest bid and ultimately the project itself.

Rather than “chase the bottom,” Total Wrecking & Environmental leadership worked hard to earn the trust of power plant leadership by offering an unparalleled level of transparency. They submitted an extensive safety record, for example, that provided verified historical data that showed their steadfast commitment to safety at the highest possible level. This collection of documents proved they had safely completed a long list of projects at a similar level, all without incident and well above baseline OSHA requirements.

They also provided a sprawling project history document, with immense detail about the wide breadth of industrial demolition projects completed since their inception in 2013. From asbestos abatement, environmental remediation, asset recovery, recycling, dismantling, and everything in between, this document proved there was no demolition-related challenge that Total Wrecking hadn’t already safely completed.

Lastly, and after site walkthroughs and weeks of reading and digesting every piece of documentation about the McIntosh Power Plant site, Total Wrecking delivered a detailed strategy document, explaining exactly how they would tackle the project and in what order. This included thoughtful and well-studied information about projected timelines, sequence of tasks, and potential hazards along the way.

With these critical elements in-hand, leadership at McIntosh Power Plant knew that Total Wrecking and Environmental was the most qualified contractor for the immense job ahead.

GETTING STARTED

Like every industrial demolition project, this one began with a multi-week mobilization of crew and equipment to the jobsite. The equipment mobilization itself requires careful planning, as many of these pieces are so immense that routes with sufficient width and elevation need to be predetermined to avoid road-related delays.

Similarly, because crews will live locally over the course of the project, comfortable and nearby housing needs to be found and secured in order for the hundreds of on-site workers to be settled throughout their years of work completing the demolition.

When work commenced in May 2022, the first weeks of the project were dedicated to asset recovery in order to identify any valuables that could be sold for profit. This included metals, pieces of equipment, reusable parts, and so forth that could be scrapped for cash or sold to other third-party buyers.

In fact, this was a predetermined element of the project that helped earn Total Wrecking the project in the first place: identifying, salvaging, and ultimately selling scrap parts at a shared profit. The 80/20 asset recovery split on this project would net McIntosh Power Plant up to $1.2 million, a tremendous savings that was agreed upon before Total Wrecking even broke ground.

Total Wrecking leaves no stone unturned when it comes to reusing and recycling every piece of material possible. In early weeks, they’ve even gone so far as to strip protective copper coating from one of the unit’s wirings, a process that not only underlines their commitment to environmental sustainability but also provides an early revenue stream to the client.

THE INDUSTRIAL DEMOLITION AHEAD

All of Total Wrecking’s efforts over the next 1.5 – 2 years are centered around the safe and comprehensive abatement, remediation, decommissioning, and demolition of 3 massive coal-fired units that have been in operation at the McIntosh Power Plant for more than 40 years.

Unit 1, the smallest but last undertaking of Total Wrecking’s full-project timeline, is a 90-megawatt generator that used to burn oil until it was converted into a natural gas generator later in its lifecycle. This is in fact the smallest of the 3 units that Total Wrecking is dismantling over the course of the project.

Unit 2 is noticeably larger, both in power generation and overall footprint within the jobsite. It consists of 4 short stacks that form a relatively neat, compact rectangular shape. This unit is a dual-fuel generator that clicks in an impressive 114.7 megawatts steam turbine that is powered by oil or natural gas. As powerful and efficient as it may have been in its heyday, a dangerous explosion back in May of 2017 led to its full decommissioning. Now, it’s Total Wrecking’s responsibility to see that it’s safely dismantled and disposed of to make way for the next generation of power creation.

Unit 3 is the real prized pony of the entire project. Considered by both Total Wrecking contractors and McIntosh Power Plant leadership to be the “mothership” of the power station, this 360-megawatt coal-fired behemoth dwarfs the output and footprint of the other two units.

Unit 3 consists of 13 separate short stacks that consume more space than an entire football field, as well as a smaller two-stack building that towers over many of the other units throughout the site. Altogether it’s a sprawling, gargantuan structure that can be seen all the way from the far shores of the neighboring Lake Parker. This massive unit operated for over 40 years, helping supply power to hundreds of thousands of residents within Lakeland Florida, before its decommissioning this spring in April 2022.

WORKING ON AN ACTIVE POWER PLANT

The crucial element to keep in mind is that Total Wrecking is dismantling just one portion – albeit a sizable and significant portion – of an otherwise very active power plant. The sensitivity and care needs to be maintained throughout the entirety of the project to ensure their work does nothing to interfere with the rest of the active power plant.

For example, a switch yard adjacent to the massive Unit 3 will remain operational after Total Wrecking’s services are complete. Given it’s less than a stone’s throw away from the football-field-sized unit that will be demolished, Total Wrecking is using some creative thinking and impressive demolition strategy to employ a large double pipeline as a barrier.

In its past life, this pipeline played a pivotal role in carrying water to the cooling towers, but will now maintain the switch yard’s safety while Unit 3’s demolition is carried out. Once Unit 3 is in fact demolished, Total Wrecking will then proceed with dismantling the pipeline and restoring the surrounding site to its normal working state.

WORKING ON AN ACTIVE POWER PLANT

This project is unprecedented in its scope and complexity, requiring a tremendous amount of resources, specialized crew members, and surgical planning to ensure the project is completed safely, on-time, and within the financial parameters agreed upon.

Total Wrecking has already completed a long list of monumental power plant demolition projects, as well as dozens more chemical plants, paper mills, manufacturing facilities, urban high-rises, and everything in between. Throughout their many years of business, they have proven that operating with safety, integrity, quality, and family at the forefront are the greatest distinguishing factors.

“I appreciated the ease in dealing with the Total Wrecking team, both in the field and Administratively. Total Wrecking’s willingness to accommodate changes and overcome unseen challenges kept the project running smoothly. The manner that they operated in was safe, effective and efficient. Quandel Construction would like to express our confidence in Total Wrecking and our desire to work with their team on future projects.”

Shawn Edmonds
Project Superintendent , Quandel Construction Group

Total Wrecking WESTROCK, VA

KEY METRICS/TAKEAWAYS

• Project Scope: Dismantling a 21,000 square foot Rail Dock and a 126,000 square foot 100-year-old two-story brick and concrete building.
• Historic Structures: Handling 100-year-old yellow pine wood beams and columns in the first and basement levels.
• Safety Considerations: Implementation of continuous safety reminders and protocols.
• Environmental Impact: Management of asbestos and PCB removal, and minimizing dust and non-friable asbestos roofing debris.
• Asset Recovery: Focus on recovering historic wooden beams and columns.

OVERVIEW

Total Wrecking & Environmental’s undertaking of the WestRock Old Bag Mill demolition project in Hodge, LA, involved the meticulous dismantling of a century-old two-story brick and concrete building, accompanied by a 21,000 square foot covered Rail Dock.

The challenge was twofold: first, to ensure the careful separation of these structures from four adjacent active buildings, and second, to preserve the building’s foundation for future development.

The site featured historic 100-year-old yellow pine wood beams and columns, most prominently in the first and multilevel basements, adding a huge element of complexity to an already sensitive project on an active site.

Total Wrecking & Environmental, as with all of their industrial demolition projects, needed to navigate this project with precision, balancing environmental hazards, asset recovery, surgical dismantling, and more.

CHALLENGES: BEAM REMOVAL

The removal of beams presented a significant challenge as well. These beams, integral to the building’s structure, were not only historically significant but also needed to be carefully handled and preserved for recycling and sale.

Being a century old, many of the beams had deteriorated over time and required sensitive handling to preserve their integrity for recovery and reuse. The team couldn’t use standard demolition tools like grapples or shears, as these would crush or damage the delicate wood. Instead, Total Wrecking & Environmental invested in specialty rotating grapples that allowed for the gentle handling and precise placement of these beams.

Not every beam was salvageable due to rot or damage, and the team had to meticulously sort through them to identify which could be preserved. This process was time-consuming and required significant space and manpower, adding to the complexity of the project.

CHALLENGES: ASBESTOS REMOVAL

Total Wrecking & Environmental performed a thorough assessment of the site to identify areas containing asbestos. Given the age of the building, certain parts, especially in the insulation materials and old construction elements, were likely to contain asbestos.

After identifying the asbestos-containing materials, Total Wrecking developed a comprehensive removal plan that adhered to strict environmental regulations and safety standards. Containment and air filtration systems were also established to ensure that asbestos fibers did not spread to adjacent areas. Continuous monitoring was conducted to ensure that the asbestos fibers were contained and that there was no risk to the workers or the environment.

Once removed, another thorough inspection and clearance process was conducted to confirm that all asbestos had been safely removed and that the area was safe for subsequent demolition.

CHALLENGES: LOCAL HIRING

Total Wrecking & Environmental faced considerable hurdles in building a capable local workforce for the project. Given the specialized nature of the demolition work, particularly with handling historic materials and operating specialized equipment, finding skilled labor in the local area was a challenge.

This led to a cycle of hiring and training new employees, only to lose them due to the demanding nature of the work or a mismatch in skills. The need for constant recruitment and training of new personnel added to the project timeline and complexity.

CHALLENGES: TRUCKING RESOURCE CONSTRAINTS

Another major challenge was the scarcity of local trucking resources. The project’s remote location in Hodge, LA, meant there was only one local trucking company available. This limited availability often resulted in delays, as the company could not always meet the project’s demands, especially for specialized tasks such as hauling asbestos or steel for recycling.

PROCESS & HIGHLIGHTS: UNIQUE APPROACHES AND TECHNIQUES

Total Wrecking & Environmental employed several unique approaches and techniques throughout the project, demonstrating their capability in managing the most demanding demolition projects.

Total Wrecking & Environmental utilized specially designed rotating grapples to preserve the historical value and fragile nature of the century-old yellow pine beams. To manage the limited space and heavy materials efficiently, the team implemented a meticulous material sorting process crucial for organizing the demolition materials for either recovery, recycling, or disposal.

As with every demolition project, the Total Wrecking & Environmental team adhered to strict safety measures and environmental compliance, particularly when it came to careful asbestos removal and dust control measures to minimize environmental impact.

The project required close collaboration with West Rock and other stakeholders. Total Wrecking & Environmental maintained open communication lines, ensuring that all parties were updated on project progress and any emerging challenges. This collaborative approach facilitated a smooth workflow and helped in promptly addressing any issues.

Every Westrock employee, whether relevant to this project or not, expressed their satisfaction and gratitude for the professionalism and expertise conveyed during every challenging phase.

“It is without reservation that I recommend Total Wrecking and Environmental for any future projects requiring their specialized services. I am confident that their expertise and professionalism will continue to bring success to any project they are involved in, and I look forward to having them back for our future projects.”

Eric Taylor
General Manager – Westrock Hodge, LA

Total Wrecking LG&E PROJECTS CANAL STATION, ZORN & PADDY’S RUN

INTRODUCTION

Total Wrecking & Environmental prides itself on its industrial demolition expertise, demonstrated in three projects undertaken for the Louisville Gas & Electric (LG&E) power station in Kentucky.

These separate but equally complex projects included hazardous and PCB waste removal and surgical demolition tasks, each of which required a sophisticated understanding of industrial demolition processes. The successful execution of these highly-technical projects, all for the same client, is a testament to Total Wrecking & Environmental’s commitment to ensuring its clients experience minimal disruption and maximum satisfaction throughout the entire process.

Below, we’ve broken down each of these projects and job sites in Louisville, Kentucky that Total Wrecking has had the exciting privilege of working on over the last two years. Although they all fall within the greater LG&E umbrella, each project presented unique challenges for Total Wrecking’s expert demo team to identify, strategize, and ultimately overcome.

CANAL STATION

Canal Station is a coal-powered plant located within 200 feet of the rushing Ohio River. Total Wrecking completed this extremely sensitive and complex project, which required a long list of specialized crews and equipment to safely complete, in early 2022.

Canal Station was the most time-consuming and complex of the LG&E projects. For example, the basement underneath the turbines was approximately 50 feet deep, well below the water table and the river 200 feet away. All in all, this extensive project spanned nearly two years and required close coordination with the Army Corps of Engineers from top to bottom.

The Canal Station project had two massive and competing challenges, the first of which was widespread asbestos within effectively every part of the structure. The main structure had deteriorated over more than a decade, and asbestos had contaminated just about everything in its path. As with all projects, the entire building had to be decontaminated and remediated before any demolition work began.

Metal siding wrapped around the entire structure contained both PCBs and asbestos. All of Canal Station, for that matter, was contaminated inside, and surrounded by corrugated panels that contained both asbestos and PCBs.

The presence of asbestos meant that it was of utmost importance that any and all water was protected from contamination. That’s one thing when you’re 200 feet away from one of the biggest rivers in the country. It’s another thing when a massive flood wall system – including sheet piling filled with concrete, tunnels, and foundational walls – that extends up to 50 feet underground is already leaking and further deteriorating, threatening further intrusion.

Which brings us to challenge #2: the ever-present threat of water intrusion and complex water management. Throughout the asbestos abatement phase, Total Wrecking asbestos contractors had to ensure every drop of water was carefully protected from contamination. Anything that did come into contact with asbestos had to be filtered and discharged immediately, a constant throughout the entire project.

Being 200 feet from the Ohio River meant massive flood wall systems needed to be preserved, even though the river was actively attached to structures that TWE was demolishing. Upon TWE’s arrival onsite, there were already active water leaks in the tunnels, roof membranes, foundation walls, and other deteriorated areas, all of which needed to be filtered and discharged while preventing further contamination.

Divers on-site had to dredge out intake tunnels to construct bulkheads. Intake and discharge tunnels had to be filled with flowable fill to avoid flooding from the neighboring river. Tunnels that connected the river to these buildings had to be sealed to prevent water intrusion or flooding. There were also numerous cracks in the foundation and constant groundwater concerns that made water filtration management the biggest challenge of the whole project.

Once these demolition experts sealed walls, closed off tunnels, and plugged roof drains, they could move forward with abatement and PCB remediation. The headlining structure for demolition was a massive power block with a four-turbine hydro or coal-powered generator and two large hung boilers. There was also a small screen house, a quonset hut, an electrical building, and specific floodwall sections that had to be carefully dismantled and removed.

The basement was later backfilled with imported tunnel stone and recycled concrete from the project. Around 95-96% of materials on Canal Station were recycled, less than TWE’s proud average of 98-99% in light of the heavy contamination.

ZORN

Total Wrecking and Environmental’s expert team of commercial demolition contractors spent several months demolishing a large turbine within an extremely limited space, requiring a multi-step process of removing the foundation and carefully dismantling a massive, multi-ton turbine. The Zorn project, located immediately adjacent to a historical and iconic water tower owned and actively operated by the city’s water department, had a relatively small footprint compared to Canal Station.

Zorn is the water department’s main area of operation, and the turbine site was simply being leased from them by LG&E. This meant that the entire area around Zorn was fully operational, and that the historical water tower had to be very carefully preserved. On top of that, the area surrounding the jobsite had just been freshly paved, which meant crews had to be very careful not to disrespect the plant’s proud cosmetic changes.

The main character in this demo was a large, single-engine turbine to be demolished both above and below grade, as well as its switchgear and an 80-foot transmission tower. The entire lot occupied no more than 1600 square feet, giving demo crews extremely limited space to work, on top of needing to be sensitive to active operations and water department heads working nearby.

Like most projects, Zorn included the removal of asbestos, PCB caulking, and PCB coating on wires throughout the site. Burners helped surgically dismantle the turbine, excavators helped clear the foundation beneath it, and managers helped ensure none of their precarious work interfered with the ongoing operations of the active plant.

There’s a twist though… that 80-foot transmission tower was literally bigger than the jobsite itself. The jobsite occupied such a confined space that there was initially nowhere to fell the 80-foot transmission tower. As a result, demolition contractors first dismantled, demolished, and cleared the entire turbine and area immediately around it. Then, they felled the transmission tower right into the space they had been working in!

Talk about a tiny bullseye (and some serious demolition ingenuity) to get this job done safely and on time! Their ability to conduct such an intricate task with impeccable results is a testament to Total Wrecking’s technical precision and excellence.

PADDY’S RUN

Paddy’s Run was a sister unit to Zorn with the same type of turbine elsewhere on the LG&E plant. On paper the job was essentially the same, minus the transmission tower. Asbestos abatement and PCB removal also made appearances.

What makes Paddy’s Run unique is its location, which is inside an LG&E-owned facility that remained fully operational. LG&E operations weren’t on this active jobsite, per se, but remotely located across the plant and connected by an active switchyard . . . which was on the Paddy’s Run jobsite.

As a matter of fact, TWE was about 10 feet away from this active switchyard and its live buss. This meant there was a massive web of overhead electrical lines above many of the active work areas throughout the project.

The other curveball was the timeline. Just as TWE finished the Zorn project in October 2021, LG&E made the decision to demolish Paddy’s Run by the end of the year. By the time the project was negotiated and green lit at the end of October, TWE was ready to dive in the first week of November.

This obviously left very little time after required permits and notifications, and posed a time challenge that Total Wrecking refused to let interfere with safety or integrity. Leveraging sophisticated demo planning and coordination, TWE was able to complete the job from A to Z in 6 weeks, a full 3 weeks early from the already accelerated timeline.

The main project objective at Paddy’s Run is the removal of a massive combustion turbine that sits about 10 feet away from an active switchyard, an active electrical unit that each crew member needs to be acutely aware of at all times. Beyond that, the demolition of the turbine required careful dismantling and removal of each piece that was then shipped off-site.

Once the turbine was handled, the team moved on to dealing with the area around it. This meant removing the foundations, backfilling with stone or recycled concrete, and dealing with any other asset recovery or waste removal tasks around the turbine.

There were also separate air handling units (massive duct work, essentially) that was connected to the demolished unit, so these also needed to be carefully demolished.

All industrial demolition projects come with the challenge of managing large amounts of industrial scrap. In order to minimize environmental impact and make good use of any reusable or valuable elements, wire strippers remove all the reusable or valuable elements on-site, and any remaining steel is processed before being sorted for recycling.

These concerted efforts led to over 98% of all materials generated from demolition being recycled or reused.

CONCLUSION

Time and again, Total Wrecking proves why we’re one of the best in the business. With commitment to safety and integrity, people who work with us have the peace of mind knowing they’re working with one of the most qualified, storied, and safest contractors anywhere in the U.S.

If you’re in need of an industrial demolition company, look no further than Total Wrecking & Environmental. We have extensive experience with projects of all sizes, as demonstrated by our work at the LG&E power station in Kentucky. Plus, we always put safety first. Contact us today to get started on your next industrial demolition project.

 

“Total Wrecking & Environmental was instrumental in accomplishing all of the coordination and performance of the work necessary to have a safe and successful project. Total Wrecking performed the work flawlessly, in a timely manner and within the budget the City established for this project. The City of Mansfield, Ohio looks forward to working with your firm again on future demolition and environmental projects as they arise.”

Tim Bowersock
Director of Economic Development – Mansfield, Ohio

 

Total Wrecking MARYLAND BRADDOCK MEDICAL CAMPUS

THE CHALLENGE:

The Allegany High School Replacement Phase I – Site Preparation project was the first stage of the overall project of building a new state of the art High School Facility that would consolidate all of the High Schools in Allegany County Maryland into a single facility. The site chosen for the new school was the former Braddock Medical Complex in Cumberland, Maryland. The complex consisted of several buildings ranging from 2-7 stories in height. The largest of the structures was the 7 story Sacred Heart Hospital building. Previously unidentified PCB caulking with concentrations in excess of 100,000 parts per million was identified within the cavity of 10” deep “tongue and groove” type exterior concrete spandrel panels at the very start of the demolition of the structure.

THE SOLUTION:

Fortunately, Total Wrecking’s experienced General Superintendent noticed the material and halted demolition immediately, thus preventing the contamination of nearly 48,000 tons of concrete that was being crushed on site for reuse. After receiving the environmental consultant’s recommendation and estimated cost of $1,500,000 the Owner, Frank Bodami tasked his environmental team to come up with a cost effective solution to this unplanned situation. Total Wrecking and Environmental’s team went to work which ultimately paid off.

THE RESULTS:

The plan put together was approved by all regulators and government agencies which enabled total to provide an end cost for under 500,000 which ultimately saved over a million dollars to the owner. This is a perfect example of “The Total Difference.”


“Total Wrecking worked diligently to complete the project within budget, with a minimum of change orders. I often sought their advice as issues were discovered throughout the demolition. An example of which is the discovery of PCB containing sealants on the exterior panels of the original building. Having experienced similar conditions on previous projects the Total Wrecking team was familiar with the federal regulations, abatement procedures, and disposal requirements. They made every effort to minimize the cost while meeting all of the governing regulations.”

Vincent Montana
Director of Facilities, Board of Education of Allegany County

 

Total Wrecking NEW YORK NEW YORK STATE FAIRGROUND

THE CHALLENGE:

We faced a significant and multifaceted task at a New York State site. Our primary objective was the comprehensive removal of existing structures, including the iconic New York State Grandstands. The project scope extended beyond demolition, encompassing the removal of 11 additional buildings, the original site track, and a complex network of utilities – from water mains and gas lines to HVAC systems. A critical aspect of our role also involved the abatement of any hazardous materials encountered. All this was to be achieved within a strict 9-week deadline and under a $5 million budget cap, presenting a substantial challenge in both time management and resource allocation.

THE SOLUTION:

Total Wrecking & Environmental approached this project with a blend of strategic planning and operational excellence. For the grandstand demolition, we employed the implosion method, supplemented by a fleet of specialized equipment to ensure efficiency and safety. We worked closely with Local Unions, leveraging their expertise to enhance our operational capacity. This collaboration proved vital in self-performing the varied tasks of abatement, utility removal, and structural demolition. The project was a race against time, demanding rapid adaptation to daily design changes. Our team’s agility and proactive problem-solving enabled us to continually refine our approach, optimizing performance while adhering to the project’s financial guidelines. This dynamic and responsive strategy was instrumental in maintaining our commitment to the client’s needs and project objectives.

THE RESULTS:

The outcome was a resounding success. Total Wrecking met the ambitious 9-week deadline, delivering a comprehensive demolition and clearing the way for the next phase of development. Our commitment and expertise led to a profitable completion for both us and our client. We not only removed the old structures and utilities but also managed the successful implosion of the grandstands, all while installing a new, functional stormwater system. The project stands as a testament to our ability to tackle complex challenges efficiently and effectively, ensuring client satisfaction and project success.


“Total Wrecking & Environmental was instrumental in accomplishing all of the coordination and performance of the work necessary to have a safe and successful project. Total Wrecking performed the work flawlessly, in a timely manner and within the budget the City established for this project. The City of Mansfield, Ohio looks forward to working with your firm again on future demolition and environmental projects as they arise.”

Tim Bowersock
Director of Economic Development – Mansfield, Ohio

Total Wrecking ASSET RECOVERY

ABOUT THE COMPANY:

Since its construction in the 1950’s, the facility has experienced multiple leaks, and broken pipes in its heat transfer system resulting in the release of PCB-containing oil. This oil has, in turn, contaminated the surrounding concrete areas. Unfortunately APG inherited these challenges upon acquiring the facility, despite not being the cause of the original contamination. The challenging and highly dangerous project dealt with RCRA lead hazardous waste, widespread TSCA level PCB contamination, and Category I non-friable asbestos waste, all of which fall under stringent regulatory requirements for demolition, transportation, disposal, on-site storage, and employee exposure management. To add to the challenge, all of Total Wrecking’s work takes place within an active manufacturing plant. While demolition was underway, manufacturing processes continued in the attached buildings and surrounding areas, along with active rail tracks within the facility. Although Total Wrecking has successfully completed other, often larger, projects with the same elements for clients like General Electric, every project presents unique challenges due to different layouts and manifestations. Phase one is expected to take approximately 10 months, with phase two being a six-month undertaking, likely to begin in early 2024.

THE CHALLENGE:

The manufacturing building itself is a humongous, 5-story structure that takes up the space of two football fields. The heat transfer piping system containing PCB oils within it stretches for over 10 full miles and PCB contamination of concrete existed on every single floor. One of the main issues at the facility is its elaborate and highly sensitive heat transfer system, which maintains the delicate temperature of its manufactured products. This closed system contains both boilers and piping with PCB containing oil that circulates in order to heat products. In the early 1980s, this section of the site underwent a change whereby the PCB oil in the system was drained and replaced with T-66 oil. However, residual PCBs remained trapped within the piping, and adhered to the inner walls in a tar-like consistency. In addition to PCBs, Total Wrecking also managed asbestos containing mastic on precast concrete roof panels, which had to be segregated from other debris which was being processed into pieces six inches or smaller in order to be disposed of in a TSCA permitted landfill. Processing Category I non-friable asbestos-containing material changes it’s regulatory status from non-regulated to regulated asbestos, meaning any concrete panels with asbestos had to be separated from the rest of the building and carefully disposed of without further processing. Asbestos was also detected in gaskets between pipe flanges, requiring pipe joints to be cut on each side and disposed of with the asbestos gaskets still intact. Other interconnected buildings were constructed after original site construction and shared exterior walls with the manufacturing building Total Wrecking was tasked with taking down. That meant that each part of the building needed to be carefully separated from the structure being demolished to avoid damages and allow neighboring operations to safely continue without interruption. The APG facility also contains multiple active sets of rail spurs to transport both raw materials and finished products in and out of the site on railcars and tankers. This fully-active component adds another element of complexity to the demolition process that demo professionals had to plan around and safely navigate throughout all of their work.

THE SOLUTION:

The multi-phase project at APG involved a long list of chronological steps, starting with the capture of all remaining oils within the extensive 10-mile piping system. Total Wrecking’s services kicked off in November 2022 with the specific goal of removing all oil from pipes containing PCB residuals throughout winter and before temperatures rose. The PCB contaminated T-66 oil had unique characteristics, solidifying into a tar-like consistency at cooler temperatures but liquefying when heated. Oil collection and pipe removal had to be very carefully timed to prevent additional leaks when the weather became warmer. Total Wrecking’s demolition, abatement, and remediation experts then proceeded to carefully dismantle the building and brought all materials down to the concrete slabs at grade, which were to be addressed separately in Phase II of the Project. Total Wrecking’s expert remediation project managers helped develop time and motion studies, and comprehensive cost analyses to help APG choose the most cost-effective method(s) for remediation and demolition. Another incredibly important project component was the prevention of cross-contamination, allowing for salvaging and recycling of the uncontaminated structural steel, which had the potential to generate upwards of $3 million worth of shared revenue between Total Wrecking and the Owner. Before any demolition took place, Total Wrecking had to address a number of hazardous material issues, including block walls and structural members with loose and peeling lead-based paint that had to be scraped off and carefully collected. If not removed, any contaminated material had to be disposed of as RCRA hazardous waste, which when combined with the TSCA waste stream presented limited options for the combined RCRA/TSCA waste disposal. As with any demolition project, unforeseen challenges did arise, including the presence of residual oil in the pipes, even though the system had allegedly been drained by the Owner before the project started. Because landfills cannot accept TSCA waste containing free liquids, debris with free liquid could seriously jeopardize the ability to properly dispose of waste. Thankfully, Total Wrecking was able to identify and remove all remaining oil in the pipes that posed the risk of contaminating remaining materials, avoiding a potentially costly mistake.

THE RESULTS:

Total Wrecking was instrumental in helping APG define a comprehensive demolition timeline, as well as a performance-based disposal plan, which involved disposing of everything based on the original concentration of the PCB source during Phase I, and final remediation and disposal in Phase II under a self-implementing clean-up plan. Months of careful planning involved had helped ensure that the sensitive management of all materials prevented any further contamination and allowed for all debris to be disposed of safely, efficiently, and cost-effectively, and allowed for the harvesting of millions of dollars worth of uncontaminated scrap metals to help the Owner pay for the project. Remediation experts at Total Wrecking had spent five months removing trapped oils within the piping system and strategically removing sections of pipe most likely to contain residual T-66 oil. As they surgically dismantled the 5-story manufacturing building, ensuring all waste streams were safely segregated, they also ensured that every shared wall remained intact and undisturbed so that active and neighboring operations could continue without interruption. Despite the monumental hurdles posed by widespread PCB contamination, asbestos, and lead-based paint, Total Wrecking had successfully navigated the complex regulatory environment and developed innovative solutions that minimized costs and, most importantly, ensured the safety of everyone involved. With a keen understanding of project-specific nuances and a steadfast dedication to maintaining the highest standards of demolition excellence, Total Wrecking stood out as the go-to choice for power plant owners, building managers, engineers, and industrial demolition professionals looking for an all-in-one contractor to safely, efficiently, and expertly manage every aspect of their demolition project.


“I appreciated the ease in dealing with the Total Wrecking team, both in the field and Administratively. Total Wrecking’s willingness to accommodate changes and overcome unseen challenges kept the project running smoothly. The manner that they operated in was safe, effective and efficient. Quandel Construction would like to express our confidence in Total Wrecking and our desire to work with their team on future projects.”

Shawn Edmonds
Project Superintendent , Quandel Construction Group