Jun 08, 2023

Homrich helps demolish Detroit incineration facility

The city of Detroit announced the final phase of the year-long demolition of the Detroit Waste Energy Facility took place when the facility’s smokestack was felled earlier this summer.

For 34 years, the incinerator’s stack had stood over the interchange of interstates 75 and 94. It had a history of releasing harmful fumes that irritated neighbors, the city of Detroit says.

In 2019, after pressure from the city to invest in air quality improvements, Detroit Renewable Power announced it would cease burning trash at the complex. Since that time, Detroit household trash has been taken to landfills outside the city limits.

The Detroit Building Authority selected Homrich as the company to perform the demolition following a competitive bid process. As part of its proposal, Homrich has been selling scrap metal from the facility, which will generate approximately $1.3 million that will cover the cost of the demolition. Any surplus proceeds will go to the Greater Detroit Resource Recovery Authority (GDRRA).

Safety is first priority

All hazardous materials inside the complex were safely removed and properly disposed of prior to dismantling and demolition proceeding. Dykon Explosive Demolition imploded the smokestack through the use of controlled explosives that caused the tower to fall west of the incinerator property away from the closest residential area.

“The full demolition of the incinerator is a relief to many people in the city,” says Tyrone Clifton, director of the Detroit Building Authority. “We owe it to them to remove this unwanted structure from their community in as safe a manner as possible, and we have the best team in place to do that.”

Although community members had known for about a year about the planned implosion, the city began notifying nearby residents and community organizations of the approximate date a couple of months ahead of the event. No residences were located within the fall zone, the city says.

Prior to the implosion, workers closed Russell and Ferry streets to establish a safety perimeter. Crews also used misting machines to wet down the area before, during and after the implosion to help control dust. Immediately after the event, teams set to work cleaning roads and sidewalks in the immediate area. Workers also checked air quality and conducted vibration monitoring before and after the event.

Clean up of the facility and site was set to finish up in July.

Safety is first priority