Crews take down a grain elevator on Thursday at Bucks Auto Parts on Mission Island.
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Dan Toscheri says if used cars were built as well as grain elevators were a century ago, he’d be out of business.
Toscheri made the comments Thursday outside his Mission Island office, a demolition crew well into its fourth day tearing down a grain elevator at the edge of his property.
“The silos have been up for well over 100 years and our idea of taking them down is to take them down to put more vehicles on there,” said Toscheri, the owner of Bucks Auto Parts.
“They were starting to deteriorate a little bit, so we thought we’d do our part to take them down and reclaim the land.”
Shannon Campbell, president of Tycon Construction, the company charged with tearing the silos down, said there were plenty of unknowns to deal with after being tasked with the project.
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“Our initial plan was to ramp into it and bring it down from the top with a large-size excavator with 70 feet of boom on it – which we were accomplishing,” Campbell said.
“But at the end of the day we had a couple of safety concerns and that’s when we … brought in a 50-tonne crane with 140 feet of boom on it.”
The biggest concern was how strong the 96-foot structure was and what it would take to cause failure in the now crumbling building.
“If we started taking off too much of one side, would the other side start to fall?” he said. “And we started to educate ourselves very quickly that it wouldn't come apart very easily.
“It’s very sound. The one part we took down from the bottom up and basically realized it’s very strong.”
A salvage company, which has also bought and plans to demolish the Pool 3 elevator in the coming weeks, was on scene to reclaim any reusable parts.
Campbell said he expects the job will take at least another three or four days to complete.
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