Tons of Steel, Concrete to Recover from Market Square Arena
by Trish Thiel
Market Square Arena, former home of the Indiana Pacers professional basketball team and the site of Elvis Presley's last performance, came down July 8 by implosion. But the few exciting seconds that it took implode the building's roof and arena walls does not reflect all the work that happened prior to the implosion and the work that is still taking place.
Controlled Demolition, Inc. (CDI) of Phoenix, Maryland, was in charge of the implosion, which collapsed the arena roof and walls onto the base of the structure. National Environmental Services Corporation (NESC) of Clear Creek, Indiana handled demolition work before the implosion and is continuing demolition and clearing of the site in downtown Indianapolis.
Jeremy Hudson, NESC's Market Square Arena project manager, explained that his company handled a partial demolition of the interior before July 8. The arena seats were removed and have been put into storage for future use. Mr. Hudson said the arena seats were replaced three years ago. The owners removed any memorabilia from the building.
"Elvis' last dance was here," said Mr. Hudson, "So there was much interest in the demolition of this building."
Before the implosion, NESC also was responsible for conventional demolition of half of the north and south parking garages and removing all of the interior non-load bearing walls and mechanical and electrical systems.
"We gutted the interior of the building prior to implosion," said Mr. Hudson.
NESC also separated the stairs from the dome prior to the implosion so they fell independently of the dome. Also the steel members of the roof of Market Square Arena were modified to allow explosives to be strategically placed for implosion. NESC cut the steel members at points selected by CDI.
There was a small amount of asbestos to be removed from the building and NESC subcontracted the removal to Environmental Abatement. NESC also put up protective curtains around the buildings that faced the arena.
Since the July 8 implosion, NESC has been working to knock down what wasn't brought down during the implosion, which includes some walls, and remove the material and debris left behind. This is actually a mid-size project for NESC, said Mr. Hudson. The company won the Market Square Arena job with its $1.9 million bid.
"We're pulling down what was left of the walls and cutting things down to chunks that we can haul away," Mr. Hudson added.
Mr. Hudson said rough estimates include 5,000 tons of steel and 100,000 yards of concrete to haul away. Each day there is roughly 130 tons of steel being hauled off of the site in 40-yard roll-off containers and 80 loads of concrete being hauled off in tri-axle trucks. He added that the amount of steel being hauled each day will increase when the company starts to clean up the area where the bridge that extended over Market Street was demolished. The clean up was expected to take about three to four months from the date of the implosion.
What can be recycled is. The steel is going to a local recycling yard. He said some of the concrete is going to a landfill. Some of it is being used to build a snow-tubing hill. What could be separated from the mechanical and electrical systems was taken to recyclers, while other parts went to a landfill.
The Indiana Pacers have a new home at the Conseco Fieldhouse, located a few blocks from Market Square Arena on Delaware and Pennsylvania Streets, at Georgia Street, in downtown Indianapolis.