Even demolition plans need a structural engineer to make sure the demo doesn’t turn into a disaster. Project Manager Ryan Wagner did just that for a client receiving industry recognition for its work tearing down the O’Hare Oasis in Chicago. The project received an Excellence in Demolition Award from the National Demolition Association in the $500,001 to $2 million category.
Client Alpine Demolition Services hired American Structurepoint as the demolition plan’s structural engineer of record for the oasis on I-294 just south of O’Hare International Airport. Oasis structures, scattered throughout Chicagoland, are pavilions offering food and retail options built within bridge structures spanning over various Illinois Tollways. Wagner performed a pre-planning walk-through with our client to understand the project scope, provide consultation on demo sequence options, and most importantly, to verify the framing and girders did not exhibit deterioration that would require special considerations. During the design phase, Wagner reviewed the client’s formal demolition procedures and drawings. He also developed our own written demolition guidelines substantiated by calculations verifying that slabs, girders, roof trusses, or other framings would not be overloaded by moving demolition equipment, changes in wind pressure as the building’s cladding was gradually removed, or during girder lifting operations.
Wagner proposed alternate solutions when his calculations revealed a roadblock. Key to a quick approval by IDOT/Tollway was a face-to-face client meeting near the design phase’s conclusion. Wagner and the client went through each project step to ensure the plan was coherent, maintained safety goals, and to anticipate 11th-hour “surprises” by plan reviewers. “We were fortunate to work with a client team with vast expertise in the demolition arena, but who was also easy to work with and open to suggestions and new ideas,” Wagner said. An article on Construction and Demolition Recycling.com details the entire project.