One very critical and high profile part of Phase 1 of the Petroleum Facilities Project was the demolition of the Illinois Grain silos to make way for the phase 2 construction of berth 227. The Illinois Grain Corp. silos were constructed in the mid to late 1950′s of solid reinforced concrete. Three silos were 36 feet in diameter and 99 feet tall, connected along with a grain tower that was 136 feet tall and 28 feet square.
The increase in livestock in the Southeast at the time emphasizes that the trend was toward grain storage. Increased yields brought about by the better farming practices and hybrid seeds increased production. The grain storage and processing facilities then became desirable in the Southeast because of climate, insects, pests, and farm practices. After many years of slowed grain market value, the Port of Tampa has since built petroleum steel tanks within 8 feet. This is turn has caused the demolition methods to change from swinging a wrecking ball to a more concise and surgical method. The method for demolition consisted of the security curtain, which was a reinforced engineered chain link fence, hung from a crane that protected the adjacent petroleum tanks from any falling debris. The roof and conveyor gallery of the silos were demolished first by a BROKK remote demolition tool suspended from a crane and operated from a 165′ man lift.
After the roof sections were removed, the walls were dismantled by use of a third member shear, also suspended from a crane, which slowly took the walls down to ground level. Utilization of the third member shear was suspended to allowed complete control of the debris stream as it cascaded to the ground. Once the walls were down, the footers were removed by hydraulic hammers and excavators.
Tampa Port Authority