The former Ocean Cement site on Zorkin Road was a no-go zone for traffic coming out of the Departure Bay B.C. Ferries terminal for about 30 minutes Tuesday when the cement tower that has stood there for nearly 50 years was knocked down by a demolition crew.

The former Ocean Cement site on Zorkin Road was a no-go zone for traffic coming out of the Departure Bay B.C. Ferries terminal for about 30 minutes Tuesday when the cement tower that has stood there for nearly 50 years was knocked down by a demolition crew.

Video: Nanaimo concrete tower pulled down

NANAIMO - Demolition crew takes down concrete batch plant tower as part of site cleanup next to Departure Bay ferry terminal.

A Nanaimo contractor filled a tall order when it tore down a steel tower Tuesday.

The work was part of an ongoing site cleanup at the former Ocean Heidelberg Cement Group site on Zorkin Road, located next door to B.C. Ferries Departure Bay terminal.

Because of the possibility the more than 20-metre-tall tower could fall into the roadway, Zorkin Road had to be closed to traffic when the tower was brought down so Dwayne MacIntyre, owner of D-Mac and Son Contracting, had to work quickly between ferry arrivals and departure times.

The method to fell the tower was fairly simple: use a large excavator with a massive metal cutter to snip the support columns out from under the structure, while a second excavator pulled on a heavy cable to topple the tower in the direction MacIntyre wanted it to fall.

The structure proved a tad tougher than anticipated, though, and even with three support columns cut, required a good shove from an excavator to get it to topple.

“It landed almost exactly where I wanted it too,” MacIntyre said.

MacIntyre said the tower had stood on the property, owned by Ocean Heidelberg Cement Group, for at least 50 years.

“I was born in ’68 and it was here then, so that’s 48 years,” MacIntyre said. “I think it’s been here since the early ’60s.”

The company, which owns other concrete plants in Nanaimo, shut down the plant down several years ago. The company is now doing a site clean-up.

“It’s looks a little different here,” he said. “We’ve got all the steel chewed up and we’re just getting rid of the last of the wood.”

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