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Slated for demolition: Progress Energy smokestacks north of St. Petersburg

These three smokestacks at the P.L. Bartow Steam Power Plant on Weedon Island in St. Petersburg will disappear at 10 a.m. today when Progress Energy uses an implosion to demolish the local landmark. The implosion, an inward collapse of a structure brought about by a staged explosion, will last less than 10 seconds.

CHERIE DIEZ | Times

These three smokestacks at the P.L. Bartow Steam Power Plant on Weedon Island in St. Petersburg will disappear at 10 a.m. today when Progress Energy uses an implosion to demolish the local landmark. The implosion, an inward collapse of a structure brought about by a staged explosion, will last less than 10 seconds.

ST. PETERSBURG

The P.L. Bartow Steam Power Plant on Weedon Island will bid St. Petersburg an explosive goodbye today when its three remaining smokestacks are demolished by Progress Energy.

The smokestacks, which have been a local landmark for more than 50 years, will be destroyed at 10 a.m.

The implosion, officials said, will last less than 10 seconds. Resulting noise and vibrations will be "well below levels that would cause any type of disruption," according to Progress Energy, which compared the disturbance to a brief rock concert.

The ground will not noticeably shake beyond the 1,000-foot zone from which Progress Energy has banned the public during the detonation, officials said. A siren will blare to warn people before the implosions start.

The demolition is not expected to pose any threat to nearby wildlife as all materials will be confined to the demolition site, which has long been an industrial complex.

The implosion is being choreographed by Advanced Explosives Demolition Inc., a company from Tensed, Idaho, said Progress Energy spokesman Rob Sumner.

Demolition work had been under way at the plant in June when part of the structure collapsed, killing a 65-year-old welder from West Virginia.

The Weedon Island Preserve will be closed today until officials deem it safe to the public.

The P.L. Bartow plant was replaced in June 2009 by new natural-gas burning units that more than doubled the plant's electric output and reduced its greenhouse gas emissions by more than 80 percent, according to Progress Energy.

Slated for demolition: Progress Energy smokestacks north of St. Petersburg 02/27/12 [Last modified: Monday, February 27, 2012 11:49pm]

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