ATLANTA - Crews are prepping the Georgia Dome for a big blast.
Channel 2’s Steve Gehlbach said the area looks like a disaster zone, just a bare shell down to the concrete and steel. It’s taken months to plan for perfect destruction but it will take just over nine seconds at 7:30 a.m. Nov. 20 for the dome to come crashing down.
The inside lower bowl of the Georgia Dome is gone, crushed into concrete now covering what was once a football field.
“The pressure needs to go up through the roof, not out through the sides,” said Matt Dale, the project manager for the implosion.
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To help with that, black felt-like material now hangs at the corners to protect nearby buildings, including the new Mercedes Benz Stadium only feet away.
That’s our biggest concern,” Dale said.
The other challenge is making sure the roof stays in place.
Vent holes will be cut into the fabric before the implosion, and pieces of the massive concrete ring that supports the roof have already been chipped away.
The first blasts should snap cables and relieve the tension now holding everything up.
“So, when we set off the charges, those are the collapse points inward,” Dale said. “So the weight of the catwalks and tension cables will pull down and toward the center of the building and pull the ring in with it.”
Collapsing in on itself should keep debris on site in what will be about a 25-foot deep hole. The steel gets separated out, and the rest gets crushed to rubble about the size of a coconut.
“We will leave the concrete in place, crush it down to a smaller size and build it up about 12-14 feet,” Dale said.
Next week, poles and fencing will go in between the Georgia Dome and Mercedes-Benz Stadium, covered in the same black material.
A temporary 70-foot high wall will be created to protect the new stadium.
The explosion will cause several road closures around the dome on the day of the implosion.
Officials say closures will begin at 5:30 that morning and end by 11 a.m.
Road closure signs will soon go up to warn drivers before implosion.
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