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Published: Wednesday, 7/16/2014 - Updated: 11 months ago

Demolition slated for 2 stacks at old power plant today

Contractor to trigger blast at 12:30


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Smokestacks from the former Acme power plant will be imploded today. Smokestacks from the former Acme power plant will be imploded today.
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Two smokestacks that once poured forth smoke from the coal-fired Acme power plant that powered the city of Toledo will belch their last today.

Using a controlled explosion, an Oklahoma demolition contractor at 12:30 p.m. is set to bring down in a cloud of dust and concrete and brick rubble two of the three stacks left over from the old power plant in the Marina District in East Toledo.

The city intends to close streets and restrict public access to a large “exclusion zone” around the demolition site, located on Front Street. People who live on three blocks of Front facing the old power plant were hand-delivered notices Tuesday strongly advising them to leave before noon, or, if not, to stay inside.

Mayor D. Michael Collins said he visited the demolition site Tuesday to check on the security. He said the dynamite was already in place and the contractors assured him they had it under secure control.

He said the “exclusion zone” is the right size, given the possible billow of dust that could result and the potential of windy weather to send it a far distance.

“I’m not worried about property damage but from an environmental viewpoint, if you’re downwind you’re going to get some dust,” Mr. Collins said.

According to the advisory, Front Street from the Craig Memorial Bridge/​I-280 ramp to Essex Street will be closed at 10:30 a.m., as will the two roads inside the Marina District — South Marina Drive and Riverside Drive.

Barriers will be erected in front of eight streets that intersect with Front: Carbon, East Broadway, Essex, Licking, Steel, and Worthington streets, and Elgin and Maryland avenues.

Members of the general public wishing to view the implosions may do so from Edison Park, which is on Front next to the Craig Memorial Bridge ramp. Media and credentialed people invited by the mayor will be allowed in a media/​VIP area in Tribute Park, which is also on Front Street.

The National Museum of the Great Lakes will be closed today and will resume operation on Thursday.

Boaters using the Skyway Marina are encouraged to move their boats before 11 a.m. today, and water traffic will be prohibited from entering the area from the Craig Bridge to the Martin Luther King, Jr., Bridge from 10:30 a.m. until the all-clear signal, expected after 1 p.m.

Motorists using the Veterans’ Glass City Skyway should expect traffic speed to be reduced or stopped depending on traffic flow before the scheduled implosion, the advisory said.

People with respiratory problems should avoid the area for a short time after the implosions. The dust residue on houses, cars, or other outside items can be removed with water. It is recommended that those in the exclusion area shut their windows and turn off air-conditioning units just before the implosions to minimize the effect of the dust in the air.

Most of the decommissioned Acme Power Plant was razed two years ago. The implosion and cleanup was budgeted at $388,000, to be paid with a 2011 site clean-up and historic preservation grant.

Dykon Corp. will carry out the implosions under a contract wth B&B Wrecking. A third stack, which stands 298 feet tall, will remain for now. The city must lower it by at least 100 feet to comply with new Federal Aviation Administration rules about tall structures.

The city acquired the old Acme coal-burning plant from Toledo Edison Co. in 2003, along with a check for $4.3 million to help with cleanup. The plant ceased operation in 1994.

Mr. Collins said he is hoping for corporate sponsorship to illuminate the remaining structure, and possibly decorate it with a lighthouse on top. He said the cost of the lighting alone has been estimated at $18,000 a year.

“That’s a very expensive Christmas light,” Mr. Collins said.

Contact Tom Troy: tomtroy@theblade.com or 419--724-6058 or an Twitter @TomFTroy.

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