Capital Plaza Tower Q & A Series – Part 2 Second in a series to provide information regarding the implosion of the tower on March 11




CONTACT:  Pamela Trautner

FRANKFORT, Ky.  (March 1, 2018) – Today the Finance and Administration Cabinet is providing additional information in this second release regarding the scheduled implosion of the Capital Plaza Tower on March 11 at 1:30 p.m.

Today’s information focuses on street closures, restricted areas, permits, dust, TV coverage, and drone usage.

Media releases and other information is online at capitalplaza.ky.gov.  As more information becomes available, the site will be updated.


Q:  When and what streets will be closed on Sunday, March 11? Are there parking restrictions?

A:  All streets adjacent to the exclusion zone will be closed beginning at various times throughout the morning and afternoon. 

Closures will affect the following streets:
9 a.m.:              Mero Street closed from Wilkinson Blvd. to Ann Street.
                           Lewis Street closed from Clinton to Mero.
12:30 p.m.:       Clinton Street closed from Wilkinson to Ann Street.
                           The West Frankfort Connector/Mero St bridge closed from Wilkinson to Taylor Ave.
                           The West Frankfort Connector/Clinton St bridge closed from Wilkinson to Taylor Ave.
1 p.m.:               Wilkinson Blvd. closed from Leestown Lane to Clinton Street.

Parking Restrictions:
No parking on Lewis St. from Clinton to Mero.
No parking on Ann St. from Clinton to Mero.
No parking in lot behind the Old Capital and Annex.
Restricted parking at Farmer’s Market lot and YMCA lot at Wilkinson and Broadway.

Q:  I heard there will be a test blast the week before the implosion. Why is that necessary? When will it occur?

A:  Controlled Demolition Inc. (CDI) uses structural plans of the building, as well as a review of historical data derived from similar structures they’ve demolished, to come up with a preliminary design for the implosion. However, CDI must physically determine the densities of the concrete in the tower, which in turn will determine the necessary weight of explosives needed to the volume of concrete. To do this, CDI must conduct a test blast, which will occur sometime between 2 p.m. and 4 p.m. on Sunday, March 4. 

A test blast is of the utmost importance as it will ensure that only the minimum amount of explosives are used in the implosion. For example, if a structural element being blasted is “under loaded,” then the implosion may be jeopardized. If a structural element is “overloaded,” there is risk of debris scattering further, excessive vibration and high overpressure (noise); all of which are unacceptable. 

There will not be any road closures.  There will be some noise similar to the sound of a shot gun going off. CDI will be utilizing two (2) seismographs to monitor the event.


Q:  Will the implosion be on TV?

A:  Yes. The Frankfort Plant Board (FPB) will be covering the implosion live and will show it live on its Facebook Page and local cable channel 10 or channel 510 (HD).  People will be able to view the implosion in the comfort of their own homes.


Q:  How much dust will there be?

A:  The Capital Plaza Tower is a pre-cast concrete structure. These materials do not fully disintegrate to the same small particle size as say, a brick masonry building. Concrete dust is heavier and generally does not travel the same distances prior to falling out of the air. Additionally, many of the dust generating materials such as acoustical ceiling tile, pipe insulation, wood paneling and doors, carpeting, drywall, asbestos containing materials, etc. have all been removed. Again, dust is the unavoidable byproduct of all types of demolition—so there will be dust. How much dust will be generated is unknown. Wind direction, speed and other climate factors will impact how far dust may travel or how fast it settles.

      The quantity of dust created throughout this demolition process is the same as would be created by conventional demolition. The advantage of implosion is that the dust is created at one, predetermined time. It is not present over an extended period of time.


Q:  Should people take precautions regarding dust?

A:  If an individual has respiratory issues that would be aggravated by dust, then stay indoors during the demolition and immediately after. If anyone finds dust irritating or uncomfortable, then they will need to determine what type of personal precautions to take. Or, they can decide to stay home and watch the implosion on TV or on Facebook.


Q:  Where can people go downtown to view the implosion?

A:  We are providing information on the areas, in addition to the 700-foot buffer exclusion zone around the tower, that will be restricted to the general public. Those wishing to be downtown can determine where they may want to go to view the implosion. Again, there will be dust. Each individual will need to decide if they want to be in an area where dust may or may not be.

The upper deck area behind and to the sides of the Frankfort YMCA building will not be accessible to the general public because of weight capacity issues. This area will be restricted to media, staff and guest passholders.

      The upper deck area behind the Watts Federal Building is limited to 350 people because of weight capacity issues. Public access will be monitored in that area based on the aforementioned capacity.     

Restricted Areas Map (below)


Q:  Will there be a ceremony before the implosion?

A:  There will be brief remarks prior to the implosion. The short ceremony will be on the deck area between the Watts Federal Building and the YMCA. It will begin at 1 p.m. and conclude at 1:15 p.m.


Q:  Will there be some sort of sound warning before the implosion?

A:  The implosion is to happen at 1:30 p.m. There will be two 2-second long auditory warning sirens indicating 2-minutes to blast. At 1-minute to blast, there will be one 2-second long auditory warning siren. The countdown will begin 10 seconds out.


Q:  Will I be able to view the implosion from Fort Hill or River View Parks?

A:  No. Both parks will be closed as they are within the exclusion zone.


Q:  Are there scheduled neighborhood meetings?

A:  There are no scheduled meetings. Controlled-Demolition Inc. (CDI) will be meeting with residents and businesses within the exclusion zone to provide information on what to expect the day of the implosion and how to prepare if they decide to remain in their house or place of business.

      Also, the Finance and Administration Cabinet has been contacting nearby churches and other close by entities to make sure everyone has information to share with members or customers. All information is also being posted online at capitalplaza.ky.gov.


Q:  What should property owners near but outside the exclusion zone do to protect their homes?

A:  Should homeowners have items they feel need extra protection, whether inside or near the outside of the exclusion zone, then they will need to determine what precautions they want to take. For example, the Kentucky Historical Society, which has responsibility for items in the Thomas D. Clark Center for Kentucky History and the Old State Capitol, has protected anything that a strong vibration could potentially damage. However, the Kentucky Historical Society is comfortable that these facilities are located safely outside of the exclusion zone and should not experience any negative effects from vibrations or shock waves. Although the KHS buildings are outside the exclusion zone, they will change building air filters as a precautionary measure.

Again, because the implosion is specifically designed for the energy to go inward and to minimize vibration, the tower will “curl” as it falls, which will soften the impact as the building comes down. The ground vibration is from the impact of the structure with the ground, not the explosives. The physical feeling of the vibration is difficult to quantify because of the uniqueness of each project. However, some describe the feeling is similar to standing next to a fast moving train or a thunderstorm.


Q:  How strong do vibrations have to be to cause damage to paint, plaster or other things such as sidewalks?

A:  The strength of vibrations is measured in inches per second (ips). On average, loosening of paint, plaster cracks, or lengthening old cracks, would occur at 5-6 ips. This implosion will generate at or below 0.5 ips, which is one quarter of the strength of vibrations that would cause damage.

Again, the implosion demolition industry has a successful record of bringing buildings down in close proximity to other structures. In many projects, the buildings demolished are located very close to structures, which are to remain. The closest structure to the tower, the Capital Plaza Hotel, is more than 400 feet away, an ample distance to reduce/eliminate the risk of damage to adjacent properties.  

      While specific site conditions and subsurface conditions are all unique, below is a chart showing a generally accepted comparison of vibrational impacts of implosions on structures such as buildings and bridges as well as utilities. The chart shows how strong the vibrations would need to be to cause damage if something is in the exclusion zone or outside the zone.


Q:  I’ve heard there is the potential for ground water contamination from the explosives. Is that a possibility?

A:  That is unfounded. Consider that every bit of rock blasted to create aggregate for concrete, metal ore that is mined for production of different metal products, coal that is blasted and other material generated through blasting operations in the U.S and…worldwide…would be contaminated, which is simply not the case.


Q:  What rules and regulations do the demolition company have follow?

A:  There are many rules and regulations that must be followed and many local, state and federal agencies have oversight of some aspect of the process. To say this project has been reviewed and scrutinized by all the applicable agencies is an understatement. The demolition company has submitted permit applications and provided a huge amount of documentation in order to receive permission for all sorts of actions.

Following is the list of agencies or other entities that have been involved in the preparations, permitting, and/or regulation of the demolition and implosion:

Ky Finance and Administration Cabinet (FAC), Secretary’s Office.

KyFAC Dept. for Facilities & Support Services, Div. of Engineering (Plan Review and Administration).

Ky FAC Dept. for Facilities & Support Services, Div. of Real Properties (Lease Review and Administration).

Ky FAC, Commonwealth Office of Technology (Fiber Cabling Utilities protection)

Ky Transportation Cabinet, Central Office and District 5 (Traffic Routing and Roadway closures).

Ky Environmental Protection Cabinet, Division of Water Quality (Storm Water Management Plan Review and permitting)

Ky Environmental Protection Cabinet, Division of Air Quality (Asbestos Containing Material Abatement permitting).

Ky Environmental Protection Cabinet, Division of Mine Reclamation and Enforcement (Permitting for Explosives)

Ky Public Protection Cabinet, Department for Housing, Buildings and Construction and State Fire Marshal (Plan Review and permitting)

Ky Historical Society Society (Planning related to Old State Capital)

Ky Heritage Council (Planning related to Historic Structures)

City of Frankfort, Planning and Building Code Enforcement (Plan Review and permitting)

City of Frankfort, Public Protection Department (Plan Review and emergency planning)

City of Frankfort, Sewer Board (Plan Review/ approval and protection of sewer systems in area)

City of Frankfort, Police Department (Traffic Control and emergency planning)

City of Frankfort, Fire Department (Emergency planning)

Franklin County Sheriff’s Department (Traffic Control and emergency planning)

Franklin County Health Department (Plan review and approval)

Frankfort Plant Board (Water and Electric (Utilities protection)

Columbia Gas of Kentucky (Gas Utilities protection)

AT& T (Telephone Utilities protection)

United State Environmental Protection Agency (ACM abatement regulation, Implosion regulation)

Occupational Safety Hazards Administration (OSHA, regulations for demolition and implosions)

United States Bureau of Mines (regulations for demolition with explosives)

Federal Highway Administration (regulations for transportation of explosives).

Federal Aviation Administration (regulations for issuing a Notice to Airmen-NOTAM)

Capital Airport Authority (NOTAM issuance)

Q:  Are drones allowed?

A:  The only restriction from the demolition company perspective is drones need to be at least 300 feet away from the building so as not to interfere with the implosion. Drone operators will need to abide by the local, state or federal regulations governing drone usage.


Q:  What if my drone gets dust in it or is hit by debris?

A:  Dust will interfere with GPS. All drone operators will operate their drone at their own risk.




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