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Phoenix Blast

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Mountain Bell Plaza Implosion / Demolition

By Marcial Bolina

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Phoenix Blast - Before (CableMuse.com)

Phoenix, AZ (Cable Muse Network) October 4, 2009 –The target: the Mountain Bell Plaza Building at 3033 North 3rd Street, Phoenix, AZ. The implosion took place approximately at 10:00 am on September 27, 2009. Its purpose was to remove the “eye soar” which was standing with no purpose. It took only 4.5 seconds for the skeletal structure to fall and its history went down with it.

Phoenix Blast - During (CableMuse.com)

The building was built in 1972 and was one of the first International Styled glass-and-steel office high-rises in Phoenix. It was designed by Al Beadle and was a perfectly rectangular 10 story block of blackened glass. Mountain Bell and Quest Communications made the building their home for 30 years before Quest moved out in 2003.

Phoenix Blast - During (CableMuse.com)

All asbestos was removed before the implosion took place and verified by the Maricopa County Air Quality Department. It was stated by the company, Advanced Explosives Demolition (AED), that there would be less dust in the single implosion than would be released if the building were demolished a floor at a time. Official notification regarding the implosion was distributed to local residents and business owners just one day before the event. Needless to say, the late timing was not received well in the area.  

Phoenix Blast - During (CableMuse.com)

Local residents and the general public were advised to stay at least 1,000 feet away from the site, although, residents did have the option to stay inside their homes if they chose. Soft closures were set up by the police department on surrounding streets 30 minutes before the implosion took place. Hundreds of spectators showed up to witness the event. On the tenth hour, blasts (with the range of 100 to 125 decibels) boomed and a huge cloud of dust and debris was raised a few stories high after a tremendous concussion wave rippled through the area. It was enough to “shock and awe” a large crowd of people who were watching from the roof of a parking garage one city block away, as many scurried off and decided that they had seen enough.

View the Blast Footage provided to CMN by Joshua Burgard

Phoenix Blast - Dust (CableMuse.com)

The dust cloud extended over four city blocks. A sweeping breeze dispersed and cleared the thick cloud in a matter of minutes and all that remained was a massive pile of rubble. The city reports the rubble is being sorted, recycled and cleared to make way for a new upper scale retirement community.

Phoenix Blast - Rubble (CableMuse.com)

The implosion was filmed extensively by local media as well as the Discovery channel. The Discovery channel plans to use the footage for a demolition show in December.   

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