Crews Use Cables to Demolish Old Jackson Building

A section of the old Consumers Energy Building in Jackson is no more after days of demolition.

Crews were finally able to tear down the newer portion of the old building Saturday, after days of failed attempts.

"We tried hitting it with a ball, knocking out the bottom legs out and get it to come this way," said Randall Dore, the project manager. "It was just too strong."

Thursday night, crews pulled beams from a section of the building. Part of it fell to the ground as planned. The other portion did not. To bring down the building, workers tried to use a wrecking ball for hours Friday, but to no avail, leading construction crews looking for another solution.

"You gotta reach into your bag of tricks and pull out one that's gonna work," said Dennis Dore, who works for Dore & Associates Contracting Inc.

Saturday, that meant bringing in special 1.25 inch cables from Detroit. Crews used a crane to lasso a cable around the top of the column while other workers attached a second cable. They then used heavy machinery to drag the building down.

"I'm elated. I'll be able to sleep tonight." said Randall Dore, who had been up for 36 hours.

Jackson Mayor Martin Griffin says he too was relieved, particularly that the destruction missed a nearby church.

"In the end it came right down where they said it was going to come down Wednesday," Griffin said. "You were a little nervous that it might not, but they're the pros in this business and I'll be darned it dropped right where they said it was going to. No drama, nothing."

The only drama for spectators was the waiting. Scores of people packed parking lots, holding up their cell phones and cameras to record the action -- action that took hours to materialize.

"But we knew if we left we would miss it," said Mary Hilder, who brought her two children with her to watch. She says the wait was worth it. "After watching all day yesterday and being down today, missing that church, great. That's an old church. It would have been pretty devastating [had it been damaged]. And it was pretty sketchy there for a minute."

Workers say they needed to take it slow. They wanted to take their time to ensure that everything went according to plan.

"Each building's different so you gotta check them out a little bit and think about it and what you have with each building," said Dennis Dore. "That's when mistakes are made so you take it easy and keep a cool mind and just take it one step at a time."

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