The old post office on Iberville is out of there. Now comes the old Alamo Theatre and the other once historic structure on Canal Street as site preparation continues for the curtain to go up on the final act of the Hard Rock Hotel collapse.
Construction crews were busy laying heavy planks called cribbing on Rampart Street ahead of the arrival of giant cranes and other equipment that will soon attack the collapsed structure, intent on wiping it from the scene.
“This is called the mobilization phase,” said UNO engineering professor Norma Jean Mattei told WWL-TV. “The contractor is mobilizing. He's getting all of his equipment in place.”
Kolb Grading is putting up the cribbing and prepping the site for tear down of the collapsed web of steel.
“So what you do is you put down these massive timbers that spreads the load out so the street can safely carry that load,” Mattei said. “The cranes are a massive payload, and they will be used to bring down massive payloads as they start to bring down pieces of the building.”
Mattei says when the old buildings connected to the Hard Rock structure are down, the big work will begin.
“I think we'll see some of those pancaked section, on the Rampart side, probably start to come down first,” she told the TV station. “They really want to get those pieces that are not stable.”
Mattei says unstable sections of the structure will be the first to go, likely the collapsed portion of the building’s steel frame.
But first the remaining section of a dynamited construction crane will be removed first.
Part of the crane has been hanging precariously over Canal Street since November.