Aviation News

April 22, 2014

In Ft. Lauderdale, A Hotel Is Demolished To Make Way For A New Runway

As we mentioned in our recent article on the changing face of Fort Lauderdale/Hollywood International Airport (FLL), a Hilton Hotel adjacent to the airport is in the process of being demolished in preparation for the new Runway 10R/28L.  On April 21, 2014, we were able to attend a briefing on the demolition with members of the local media. There, we had a chance to find out a little more about the whole demolition and get a first hand view of what was going on.

Greg Meyer, Broward County Aviation Department

Greg Meyer, Broward County Aviation Department

Why demolish the Hilton Hotel that has stood right next to the airport for the last 28 years?  According to Greg Meyer, Public Information Officer for the Broward County Aviation Department, “The study done in 2008 by the FAA on the rebuilding of the GA runway to a commercial runway determined that the hotel stood in what is called the ‘cone of safety’ at the end of the runway.”  The ‘cone of safety’ is the clear area that must be available at the end of the runway for any type of emergency situation.  With that determined, in 2013, Broward County set about purchasing the property from Hilton Hotels and Resorts, at a cost of $62 million.  Once the purchase was complete, planning for the demolition of the hotel began.

A briefing on the demolition was conducted by Richard Lauricella, Project Manager at the Broward County Aviation Department and the coordinator of the demolition project.  He noted, “Once the purchase of the property was completed, a tender was issued for the demolition of the building”.

Richard Lauricella, Broward County Aviation Department

Richard Lauricella, Broward County Aviation Department

The beginning of the demolition was contingent on the hotel closing its doors to customers. The final day of operation was April 7, 2014.  Immediately following the closing of the hotel, utilities such as electricity and water were disconnected from the building so that demolition could begin.  Mr. Lauricella noted, “It was determined by the project engineers and demolition experts that the easiest and quickest way the building could be demolished was by gutting the interior and pulling the building down in stages, rather than implosion.”  To complete this, small pieces of demolition machinery were moved by crane to the interior floors of the building where they set about gutting the interior. All of the interior rubble was dropped to the outside of the building, where it was separated for recycling. Separate piles were created for different types of items, such as mattresses, metal, wood, concrete, etc.

After a section of the building is gutted, heavy demolition equipment is moved to the gutted section, and is used to tear the exterior structure down.  The parking garage and pool areas had been demolished prior to the closing of the hotel.  The $2.3 million project to raze the building is due to be completed by June 1, 2014.  Clearing of the site will continue after that, however some areas have already been cleared, allowing the FAA to begin construction of the runway lights system for the Runway 10R approach. This construction will begin in the near future. The runway project is due to be finished in September, 2014, with opening of the new runway currently scheduled for September 18, 2014.

(Editors Note: Next up in our series will be a tour of the elevated section of runway 10R/28L. This tour will be conducted by the Broward County Aviation Department in a few weeks.)

Mark Lawrence, Producer, is a South Florida-based aviation fanatic that has been around the industry since he was a small boy. As well as being an avid photographer, he also runs his own blog that can be found at http://amateuravphoto.blogspot.com.

 



About the Author

Mark Lawrence
Mark Lawrence is a NYCAviation staff member and a south Florida-based aviation fanatic. He has been around the industry since he was a small boy. Mark can be reached at [email protected]




 
 

 

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