Three structures were brought to the ground in controlled explosions at a former industrial works sites.
A loud bang was heard and flashes were seen at the base of the junction houses 40 and 41 on the former Redcar steelworks before they crumbled to the ground on Wednesday. Just over an hour later, the South Bank gas holder was brought down – the last major structure within the South Bank zone.
As reported, the demolition is part of the clearing works at the developing Teesworks site where thousands of new jobs are expected to be created. The area covers approximately 4,500 acres of land to the south of the River Tees and includes the former SSI steelworks site as well as other industrial assets.
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The junction houses formed part of the network of high-level conveyors that moved raw materials from their stock grounds to bunkers, ready to be used as part of the iron and steel-making process. And the tall gas holder previously contained the gas produced by the coke ovens which was used to power other plants across the site.
A temporary exclusion zone and small road closures were in place around Smith’s Dock Road and South Bank railway station while the gas holder demolition took place. Both were carried out by demolition experts and confined to the Teesworks site.
Tees Valley Mayor Ben Houchen said: “I keep saying 2022 is our year of construction across Teesside, Darlington and Hartlepool. But to be able to build up the Teesworks site, move forward with the investors that are lining up and get spades in the ground for their transformative projects, we first have to knock things down.
“With the demolition of the gas holder, we’ve cleared the South Bank site of all its biggest assets, paving the way to become the UK’s premier location for offshore wind. As our heavy-lift quay is going up at pace, the final structure came down, meaning there’s nothing stopping further development. Taking down the Junction Boxes too will help to unlock further land on the Raw Materials Area of the site and drive regeneration.
“As ever, I’d like to thank local people and businesses for their patience while we’re carrying out one of the biggest, most complex and condensed demolition programs to ever take place in the UK. Rest assured, this will be rewarded as thousands of good-quality, well-paid jobs in the cleaner, safer and healthier industries of the future start to rise from this rubble. “