Bridge demolition Miami Fort Lauderdale Florida

Bridge demolition Miami Fort Lauderdale Florida

Bridge demolition Miami Fort Lauderdale Florida

Bridge demolition Miami Fort Lauderdale Florida

Demolition is the tearing-down of buildings and other structures. Demolition contrasts with deconstruction, which involves taking a building apart while carefully preserving valuable elements for re-use.

For small buildings, such as houses, that are only two or three stories high, demolition is a rather simple process. The building is pulled down either manually or mechanically using large hydraulic equipment: elevated work platforms, cranes, excavators or bulldozers.

Larger buildings may require the use of a wrecking ball, a heavy weight on a cable that is swung by a crane into the side of the buildings. Wrecking balls are especially effective against masonry but are less easily controlled and often less efficient than other methods. Newer methods may use rotational hydraulic shears and silenced rock-breakers attached to excavators to cut or break through wood, steel, and concrete. The use of shears is especially common when flame cutting would be dangerous.

History venerates the builders of great bridges, dams, and towers. But rare are commemorative plaques for the un-builders, those charged with the equally heroic task of dismantling those grand structures, once they become dowdy, obsolete, or downright dangerous.

There are several methods for successful bridge demolition, which are implemented by companies in the area of Miami Fort Lauderdale Florida.

Bridge demolition, like all demolition projects in Miami Fort Lauderdale Florida, requires careful planning and the use of proven and uniform methods and procedures. The type of bridge to be demolished and circumstances surrounding it determine the type of demolition process to be utilized.


One of the most common methods of bridge demolition in the area of Miami Fort Lauderdale Florida is to use explosives. Explosives are particularly effective in taking down large amounts of concrete, usually placed in boreholes that are drilled into the concrete at strategic points. The advantage of explosives is their adaptability and flexibility in getting the job done. However, when using explosives, it is important to observe extreme safety measures and to be aware of surrounding structures that might be damaged by the air blast and vibrations created in the explosion.

Explosives are commonly used to demolish bridges in Miami Fort Lauderdale Florida.


Bridge demolition Miami Fort Lauderdale Florida

Bridge demolition Miami Fort Lauderdale Florida

Three types of bursting technology have been proven effective in taking down concrete bridges. These including pressure, chemical and mechanical bursting.

Pressure bursting (applying force on the concrete until it splits or breaks) is effective in situations where it is import to contain dust, maintain relative quiet and have considerable control over the demolition process.

Chemical bursting is a matter of drilling a series of specifically designed boreholes and injecting slurry that over several hours splits and breaks the concrete. It is a more expensive method and needs to be used in warm weather; however, it is quiet and can break concrete in controlled patterns. Similarly, mechanical bursting relies on hydraulic pressure. It is relatively inexpensive and quieter, although it is sometimes difficult to control the cracking patterns. There are three types of bursting technology.

Hydraulic Breakers

Hydraulic or pneumatic breakers are often used in bridge demolition in the area of Miami Fort Lauderdale Florida. For many demolition specialists, boom-mounted breakers or hand-held breakers — jackhammers — are preferred. A machine-mounted breaker can hammer out between 300 and 800 strikes per minute. Many of the machine-mounted models are remote-controlled, use a boom for maneuverability and reach, and can be adapted for underwater use, especially important when taking down bridge abutments. They do, however, produce noise, vibrations and dust. The hand-held breakers or jackhammers, too, can generate considerable noise and dust.

Hydraulic and pneumatic breakers are frequently used in bridge demolition.


In some circumstances, bridges can be removed simply by cutting them into sections and removing them by crane. This method can be done relatively quickly and without generating dust, vibrations or noise, or creating problems for surrounding buildings. There are three primary methods in the dismantling process. First and probably most common are sawing. A second method is water-jetting, which can cut straight or curved lines and eliminates fire hazards and dust. However, it does necessitate the use of an abrasive substance and a system to catch water during the cutting process. The third method deploys a thermic lance that slices the concrete and rebar. It generates considerable heat and can cause excessive smoke and is potentially a fire hazard.

Dismantling a bridge as a means of demolition has many advantages.

The transportation infrastructure in the U.S. and specifically in the area of Miami Fort Lauderdale Florida is maturing rather rapidly, leading to a shift of work and expenditures from new construction to maintenance, rehabilitation, retrofit, or even replacement of the existing system. Therefore, bridge demolition is increasingly becoming an important issue, as more bridges reach their service life and require rehabilitation or replacement. Furthermore, as the capacity of bridges and highways are reached, partial or total removal of bridges become necessary to allow for the widening of the highway underneath of bridge or for widening the bridge itself to increase the capacity of the transportation system. Therefore, this paper addresses an important topic.

As we have seen, taking down any enormous structure requires careful planning. Different techniques are required for different materials. Concrete, for instance, can be demolished using explosives, jackhammers, and bursting—a process that involves applying pressure or injecting chemicals to break apart concrete. Steel, on the other hand, must be dismantled through dismantling.

Dismantle Steel Through Sawing, Water Jetting, or Thermic Lance.

Demolition contractors may use enormous saws and cranes to cut through and remove bridge steel. Oftentimes, demolition saws sports diamonds, which are harder than nearly all other materials on earth. Water jetting is similar, except that it uses extremely high pressures (50,000 PSI or more) to dismantle bridge materials. This approach minimizes fire hazard, dust accumulation, and damage to surrounding materials. A third method is thermic lancing, in which specialized torches melt through steel, cutting it into smaller chunks that can be hauled away later.

Sort and Salvage Materials. Once the bridge has been dismantled, its materials must be sorted into piles of similar substances, and then sold to salvaging firms or sent to landfills.

Industrial demolition contractors who dismantle steel bridges often specialize in scrap metal demolition in the area of Miami Fort Lauderdale Florida. Steel is a lucrative salvage material since it can be recycled repeatedly without losing its structural strength. Today’s bridges can be recycled into the bridges and buildings of the future.

During demolition projects, the potential risk of a fatal or serious harm accident is high, to employees, contractors and even to the public. Hazard identification and the promotion of safe methods of work are therefore essential, and these should also be reflected in responsibilities to third parties.

While it may be accepted practice to place conditions of responsibility back onto the principal or agent (commonly known as “tagging”), this does not in any way relieve the demolition contractor from its legal responsibilities. These responsibilities ensure that all precautions are being taken to maintain the continued safety of all people involved in or coming into contact with the demolition work.

The public is primarily concerned with materials falling, or dust billowing from the site onto public roadways or adjacent properties. Two other main concerns are the potential instability of partially demolished structures, and noise emanating from demolition sites.

Every demolition job (including bridge demolition), no matter how small, in the area of Miami Fort Lauderdale Florida or another site must be planned. The planning stage should be used to identify the hazards and consider the precautions to be taken. Safety, planned at the start of the demolition process, will always be more cost-effective than safety introduced midway during the project.

Managers (including principals, agents of principals, and employers) of demolition projects in Miami or any other area must lay a solid foundation for safety by adopting safe systems of work, and employees must co-operate to ensure that their actions do not compromise safety.

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