Miami Resort Demolition: Blowdown is an explosive four part series profiling some of the most challenging projects of Controlled Demolition Inc of Phoenix, Maryland.
Each of the structures, some notable, others notorious is unique and present the team with challenges ranging from the structural, to the explosive and to the bureaucratic.
In this episode, the team from CDI travels to Bal Harbour, in Miami Beach Florida to take down an old resort complex set in the middle of some of Florida’s most expensive real estate. The Sheraton Bal Harbour Beach Resort played host to Frank Sinatra and John F Kennedy, just days before his assassination. Designed during the post World War II boom the Sheraton was one of North America’s first luxury resorts. Over the years the shine on the resort’s crown tarnished and developers purchased the property to make way for a billion dollar condominium/hotel development.
The stars of the film are the two major structures that make up the core of the resort’s property: a 17 storey hotel tower, and a 12 storey parking complex with hotel rooms on the top floors. The demolition team struggles with the proximity of the neighbors – one set are just 18 feet away – and the difficulty of undermining a structure built to withstand hurricane forces.
To bring the two towers down the team will use both dynamite and shaped charges – over 500 pounds of blasting power. The shaped charges are high velocity explosives – the same technology they employ is used in armor piercing shells and warheads. The team uses the charges to cut structural steel found inside the towers.
The team comes in to work the Miami job strait from another demolition: the Frontier Hotel in Las Vegas. They have just ten days to prepare, load and implode the resort complex. Major concerns are the proximity of the neighbors, undermining the structural steel in the resort towers, and the dust cloud created by the implosion.
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