Complexity, scale of Gorgas demo demands open communication, creativity

During the past several months, I’ve learned a great deal about the business of recycling in the construction and demolition (C&D) sphere as the new managing editor for Construction & Demolition Recycling (C&DR) magazine and its sister publication Waste Today.

With a background in daily and weekly newspapers, I’ve covered my share of construction projects but never in the depth I’ve experienced since joining the C&DR team, and it’s been fascinating.

The deepest dives into the construction and demolition world I’ve experienced thus far have been my work on a pair of features in this edition. Jackson Demolition is near completion of a particularly complicated project—the demolition of Southern Co.’s retired Gorgas Electric Generating Plant, which was decommissioned in 2019.

With 250 assets on the site in Parrish, Alabama, Jackson Demolition of Schenectady, New York, had its work cut out for it due to several complicating factors at the site. First, since the site is located at the confluence of a creek and river, much of it is surrounded by water. Live electric transmission lines and a family cemetery near the site also couldn’t be disturbed by the company’s work, leaving Jackson Demolition with quite the challenge.

As much of an education as it was to learn about the tools and precautions Jackson Demolition employed to negotiate the site, which readers can learn more about starting on Page 30, it was equally interesting to learn how the company contended with a tight schedule made tighter by the pandemic.

Jackson Demolition and Southern Co. proactively communicated to keep work on course, developing and talking through detailed plans for each of the assets on the property to keep the project well ahead of schedule.

One of the lessons I’ve learned in my short time with C&DR magazine is the breadth of topics we cover. I enjoyed learning more about the wood recycling business from Recycling Today Media Group Associate Editor Megan Smalley’s article examining how Dem-Con Cos. has evolved as markets have shifted for the Shakopee, Minnesota, company, which readers can see starting on Page 38.

As I integrate into my new role here at C&DR, I continue to discover new facets of the ever-changing C&D industry. However, opportunities to revisit my old stomping grounds are always a treat.

One of the places I reported on in my prior position was Aurora, Ohio, the former home of Geauga Lake Amusement Park and SeaWorld, both of which have closed over the past 20 years.

Starting on Page 26, readers can learn more from northeast Ohio companies Sitetech and Industrial Commercial Properties about the unique challenges of conducting demolition and aggregate processing at a former amusement park.

Over the coming years, I look forward to working with our readers to share stories of their challenges and successes. It’s great to be on board!

Bob Gaetjens, Managing Editor

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