Demolition of Bogdon & Gross factory right on target

·2 min read

WALKERTON – Slow and steady wins the race – it’s as true for demolition projects as it is for anything else.

Tony D’Angelo, director of the North York-based CLC, is proud of the company’s successful drop of the 110-foot chimney stack at the former Bogdon & Gross furniture factory in Walkerton.

The three-foot-thick walks of seven courses of brick definitely presented challenges.

“Some (demolition projects) take longer than others,” he explained. “This one took two days. The bricks and mortar were like concrete.”

The difficulties came as no surprise.

“We knew it was going to be hard,” he said. “The people who built it intended for it to stand forever.”

After the structure was weakened, the striking blue (the exact colour is pantone blue, D’Angelo said) excavator operated by Tony Passero took over, removing a brick at a time until the chimney gave way.

The thousand or so people who watched the company bring down the chimney observed a painstakingly careful, step-by-step effort that paid off when everything came down exactly where it was supposed to, with no surprises.

“We took our time,” said D’Angelo.

It goes with what people have been seeing throughout the demolition project.

D’Angelo said that very little of the former factory’s material ended up in the landfill. The wood became mulch, and the concrete was turned into granular material. The huge beams were salvaged for use as flooring, etc.

“Ninety-nine per cent of the material is being recycled,” he said, noting only four or five truckloads went to the landfill.

Not all the recycling has been formal – on occasion, someone, probably an ex-employee, would show up at the site and ask for a small item.

“We gave it to them,” D’Angelo said, noting there have been quite a few people wanting bricks. “We’ll bring them out to the street, probably this week.”

He added, “We always work with the community.”

The project is “right on target, on schedule.”

Pauline Kerr, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Walkerton Herald Times