WATCH: Florida demolition company implodes two cooling towers at power plant

WATCH: Florida demolition company implodes two cooling towers at power plant

Total Wrecking and Environmental imploded the identical towers at the St. Johns River Power Park simultaneously.


Total Wrecking and Environmental LLC, Tonawanda, New York, has imploded two, 462-foot tall cooling towers Saturday, June 16 at 8 a.m. at the St. Johns River Power Park (SJRPP), Jacksonville, Florida. The identical towers were imploded simultaneously.

Jacksonville utility company JEA and Florida Power and Light Co. (FPL), Juno Beach, Florida, engaged Total Wrecking and Environmental to handle the implosion of the cooling towers and demolition of the power park at a contract of $14.5 million. The project is expected to be completed in April 2020.

Ten weeks of on-site preparation and design has preceded the event. Teams of professionals and engineers from APTIM, a company that specializes in engineering, program management, environmental services, disaster recovery, complex facility maintenance and construction services based in The Woodlands, Texas, were in charge of all plant decommissioning and removal of hazardous and universal wastes in advance of demolition operations and helped ensure all of the demolition plans and operations were in compliance with specifications and all regulatory requirements. Controlled Demolition Inc. (CDI), Phoenix, Maryland, provided all the engineering and explosives and worked in tandem with Total Wrecking for implosion preparations.

“Total Wrecking is proud to be managing this complicated and precise work at the St. Johns River Power Park,” Frank Bodami, owner of Total Wrecking, says. 

SJRPP, a 1,264-megawatt coal-fired electric generating plant jointly owned and operated by JEA and FPL, was closed by the utilities in January 2018. More than 1,500 pounds of dynamite and 12,000 linear feet of detonation cord were used to bring down both towers simultaneously. The implosion of the towers produced 100,000 tons of concrete and almost 4,000 tons of reinforcing steel rods. Nearly 100 percent of the materials are being recycled and the rest of the project is being demolished piece-by-piece with valuable equipment being sold and retiring equipment being recycled.

Total Wrecking partnered with the Jacksonville-based nonprofit Dreams Come True to hold a charity auction for the privilege to “push the plunger” at the implosion. The winning bidder pushed the plunger and the detonation of explosives began.

“We are humbled by its work to provide positive, once-in-a-lifetime and life-enriching adventures to children who more than deserve it. We are ecstatic that we were able to help make these children’s dreams come true,” Bodami says.

Built in the early 1980s, SJRPP was a joint ownership agreement between JEA and FPL and represented the largest construction project in Jacksonville at the time. The plant began operations in 1987 using then state-of-the art technology.

A video of the implosion, provided by The Mercury News, can be watched below: