Attempt No.4 Maybe On Friday

The smoke stack at the former General Motors plant in Windsor August 11, 2015. (Photo by Adelle Loiselle)

Officials are pinning their hopes a fourth attempt to bring down a smokestack at the former General Motors plant in Windsor, possibly on Friday.

After three attempted implosions, including three Monday night, the smokestack is still standing, although it’s leaning slightly. The third blast lifted the structure off its base but instead of coming down, it held firm.

Windsor’s chief building official, John Revelle admits city officials had only limited involvement in the demolition up until now, but will have greater involvement moving forward. He says two engineers have concluded the structure is sound, but that could change with a fourth failed attempt. “It could become very dangerous and very difficult to work on.”

Unlike past attempts that involved placing dynamite inside the stack, the structure will be notched on one side much like a tree is before it is cut down. The final blast will be on one side of the smoke stack, so it hopefully comes down on top of the building behind it.

Revelle believes the demolition company simply underestimated how much steel reinforcing was inside the smoke stack. “When you look at it in comparison to everything else around there, it’s just incredibly well built,” he says. “I think that when they originally designed and built this facility, it was designed to be there for 100 years.”

“This is a very unique situation.”