Lehigh Valley

Martin Tower demolition: Everything you need to know

BETHLEHEM, Pa. -

It was a meeting of the minds Thursday outlining the details of the upcoming Martin Tower implosion.

"We're starting to demolish it basically from the bottom up," said James Santoro of Controlled Demolition Inc. 

FILE: Martin Tower implosion details

Representatives from the city of Bethlehem and the demolition company ran through a slide show covering everything from health and safety concerns to the science behind bringing a building to the ground.

"When it comes down, the first bit of debris only will have fell about 14 feet which is the height of the first floor. After that each successive layer is landing on top of a pile of debris that is building up in height," said Santoro.

Officials say the goal of the informational meeting is to relieve anxiety around the community and clear up misconceptions.

On the issue of dust -- they say it will be contained primarily to the campus.

FILE: Martin Tower Dust - Notice to Adjacent Properties

"It will almost come down on its own footprint, only maybe 50-100 feet from where it originally existed, that'll minimize the dust and have it in one big pile there," said Robert Novatnack with the Bethlehem Department of Emergency Management. 

And on the issue of vibration, they say it won't feel like an earthquake.

"As the greatest piece of potential energy, which was the part of the building that was 300 feet in the air, finally strikes the bottom...it's continually crushing all of that material at the bottom which absorbs energy therefore it's not transferred into the ground," Santoro said. 

One slide detailed the exclusion zone -- a wide area where folks cannot be during the implosion.

"We're not telling people this is the best view or go to this location we're just saying you cannot be in this area," said Novatnack. 

Officials encouraged residents to watch the demolition on TV at home. Coverage begins at 6 a.m. on May 19 on 69 WFMZ-TV and here on our website.

Once the tower falls, we're told crews will immediately begin the cleanup process.

"The construction company will have crews on hand to go by and work the roads and make sure we can get them open as soon as possible," said Novatnack.

And as for people taking scraps of the building for a souvenir-- that's a no-no.

WFMZ Reporter Julia Rose asked who gets to push the button -- and even volunteered -- but was told it's an expert in a special location.

The presentation also detailed road closures which are set to start around 5 a.m., with the goal of opening streets back up quickly after the building falls.

"The construction company will have crews on hand to work the roads and make sure we can get them open as soon as possible," Novatnack said.

For more information:

Pre-implosion contact number: (610) 865-7161

Post-implosion contact number: (610) 440-3518

Post-implosion email: martintowerquestions@gmail.com


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