SOMERSET, Mass. (WPRI) — Two 500 foot cooling towers toppled to the ground Saturday, in a dramatic and much-anticipated implosion in Somerset, Massachusetts.
The demolition happened at 8:00 a.m. and took just a matter of seconds.
Hundreds of people had gathered in Somerset and surrounding communities to watch the spectacular implosions.
The towers that were demolished were landmarks at the old coal-fired energy plant at Brayton Point, which closed in 2017.
Environmentalists fought for years to shut down the coal plant.
Leading up to implosion day, the new owners of the property, Commercial Development Company, Inc., worked with transportation, utility, and public officials on safety plans.
The property has been rebranded as the “Brayton Point Commerce Center” with the intent of becoming a hub of logistics, manufacturing, and support for industries like wind energy. Environmental cleanup is done. Still ahead are more improvements, set for the second half of 2019.
During Saturday’s implosion, a large dust cloud filled the air, but walls at the tower bases were designed to limit some of the dust. Other safety measures put in place during the implosions included road detours, and a rolling roadblock on I-195 to hold off drivers.
The honor of initiating the implosion — “flipping the switch,” if you will – was raffled off to benefit the project to build a memorial wall to Vietnam War veterans in Fall River, MA.
CDC said 98 percent of the materials demolished at the site will be re-used.
The totally re-engineered, new operation is expected to open for business in January.