The recovery work that St. Paul, Minn., specialty contractor Carl Bolander & Sons Co. is doing to remove debris from the site of the Interstate 35W bridge collapse in Minneapolis is typical of the type of emergency response tasks that demolition contractors are capable of, said the executive director of the National Demolition Association.
“Many emergency response coordinators are turning to demolition contractors to supplement First Responders’ work by providing fleets of specialized heavy equipment, skilled labor needed to operate the complex machinery, and years of experience,” said Michael R. Taylor.
“When the Minnesota Department of Transportation contracted with Carl Bolander & Sons, they specifically indicated that they based their choice of contractor on experience, how quickly they could respond, and what equipment they had on hand.”
Bolander, a member of the National Demolition Association, is using four 100-ton (90 t) cranes and three excavators to process the debris in the $15 million project.
Initially, the contractor will focus on removing the debris from the land and then proceed to clearing the channel. According to reports, the recovered debris will be moved to a staging area for the National Transportation Safety Board to reassemble in an effort to determine the cause of the collapse.
The National Demolition Association’s Taylor noted that the state of California has launched a new Emergency Partnership Advisory Workgroup of state agencies and non-profit and private sector entities so that the state has the necessary resources to respond to events such as earthquakes, flood, fires, freezes, mudslides and the threat of terrorist action.
Currently, the association is working in tandem with OSHA to develop a Disaster Site Workers Training and Certification Program to train and precertify private sector workers so that they can be on standby to respond immediately to disaster situations.
“We are already working with many fire departments across the country to support the investigation of fire causes and the cleanup after fire,” Taylor noted. “We want all states and municipalities to follow the example of California and organize their resources before the next disaster strikes.”
For more information, call 800/451-2412 or visit www.demolitionassociation.com.
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