JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – With a less dramatic rumble than last summer's double cooling tower implosion, JEA and Florida Power & Light removed another piece of the St. Johns River Power Park off New Berlin Road on Friday.
The series of explosives went off as scheduled at 8 a.m. and the selective catalytic reactors (SCRs), which are pollution control devices, tumbled to the ground, falling away from a pair of boilers that will remain standing for now.
The SCRs were contained in areas of a structure that look like scaffolding. Part of the process of setting the explosives was ensuring the blasts would cut through the metal and the structures would fall at a precise angle.
It only took 12 seconds and two blasts to bring down the two reactors.
"We set up a series of cuts off here. We are using what’s called linear shape charges," explained Frank Bodami with Total Wrecking Demolition. "We got about 46 pounds of dynamite, 197 liner shape charges, and copper pieces of steel that will cut through like butter."
JEA and FPL knew that clearing the land was going to be a drawn-out process. The cooling towers coming down in June was just the first step of the $68 million project to close the power park.
Two days before the implosion, crews set the explosives that brought down the SCRs, which were placed near the boilers at the site.
Roads were not closed, but police were in the area to make sure traffic kept moving. Officials didn't anticipate dust from the implosion to be a problem.
Friday will not be the end of the demolition at the power park, as the boilers and the stack are set to come down sometime this summer. The implosions are being done in pieces so contractors can salvage the debris from each stage and clear it before the next demolition phase.
"The contractor has the ability to determine in what order they want to do things and I believe they are going to try and salvage some of the materials that they can," spokeswoman Gina Kyle said. "So it’s easier if they do it piece by piece than if they try to do it all at one time."
Most of the land where the cooling towers once stood has been cleared. JEA has not determined what will happen with that land. It could be sold or redeveloped.