Demolition Work Nears Completion at Pittsburgh Civic Arena

Demolition Work Nears Completion at Pittsburgh Civic Arena

Noralco VP estimates 97 percent of demolition debris is being recycled and reused.

July 19, 2012
CDR Staff

Demolition work on the Pittsburgh Civic Arena site is nearing completion. George Boehm, the vice president of demolition and excavation company Noralco Corp., reports the project will be complete by July 31.

The work was to be complete one month earlier but Pittsburgh-based Noralco was given a one month extension because the company received a change order to do more work, says Boehm.

“We are making a parking lot out of recycled asphalt and crushed concrete.” says Boehm. “We are bringing in 400 tons of milled asphalt to be used and 6 inches of recycled concrete to be put down as sub-base.”

The arena served as a an entertainment and sports venue for Pittsburgh for more than half a century and was home to the Pittsburgh Penguins professional hockey team. The Penguins moved into a new arena in 2010. Demolition on the Civic Arena began in the fall of 2011 under the supervision of Boehm and superintendents John Mullen and Michael Tomasits, both of Noralco.

A notable demolition challenge was the roof that opened and closed. The roof was supported by eight panels referred to as leaves because of their shape. Six of the leaves were movable and two were fixed. They were all supported in the middle by two center pins. Crews worked on taking down the movable leaves one at a time by cutting beams with shears. The bolts were cut off the fixed panels and chunks of bar were strategically cut out. Boehm estimates 800 tons of steel fell to the ground in one shot. While that tonnage would seem to create a great impact when it hit ground, Boehm says that because of air displacement, the velocity of the drop was slowed and didn’t even register on the on-site seismographs.

All of the stainless steel on the roof-an estimated 300,000 pounds-has been recycled into various different ornaments and paraphernalia to benefit the Pittsburgh Penguins Foundation youth charities.

“Our recycling rate is somewhere between 97-and 98 percent,” says Boehm. “You can’t get much better than that.”

“It is a high-profile job and everything went pretty smoothly, and everyone was very happy with the way it turned out as far as recycling and as far as helping the community,” adds Boehm.

Penguins will take possession of the lot in August and develop it for commercial and residential use.

To learn more about Noralco and the Pittsburgh Civic Arena demolition project, see the cover story, “Still Standing” in the March/April 2012 issue of Construction & Demolition Recycling magazine.