MEMPHIS, TN (abc24.com) - Demolition crews began work to tear down the concrete silos south of the Pyramid last week, but demolition is not going to be easy or quick.
It began with a bang, but like all construction in Memphis this will take time. Many expected a giant explosion, or to see the silos come tumbling down after the first day. However, this progress is slow and steady, exactly how engineers say it needs to be.
Memphis City Councilman Myron Lowery says most people in downtown Memphis can't see the progress yet, "All the work done right now is facing the river. The reason they're not imploding these silos is because they're too close to the street and the expressway, it's simply not safe. So they need to take their wrecking ball to do it, it's a little slower, but it's safer."
The big pile of rubble west of the silos is proof the construction is running ahead of schedule, according to Lowery. "By the end of the year all of the silos will be removed," he says, "There are a total of 14 silos, six have already been torn down, so they're making progress, they're ahead of schedule."
During the past thirty days, crews worked to clear asbestos from the silos, remove the neon Memphis signs, and clear overgrown lots behind the levee. It will take 90 days to bring the silos completely down. This is all to prepare for the new Bass Pro in the Pyramid, set to open late Summer 2013.
Lowery says this project needs to be done safely, which means slowly to protect drivers and bridges around. "Projects like this take time," Lowery says, "This was a concrete factory, can you imagine how sturdy those silos are? They're not coming down easily."
The 90 day project on removing the silos is expected to cost about $1 million. The entrance to Bass Pro is expected to be complete by the Spring 2013.