McGuire Watch: the Rhine Maidens' Breakfast

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Wide shot.JPGWhen it was time to take out the Wilburton Tunnel in Bellevue, the Nalley Valley viaduct in Tacoma, the Arcade Building in downtown Seattle, the call went out to the Rhine Maidens, a fleet of giant, mobile mandibles. Day-Glo orange and neon blue, they roll up to the job site, and, like jackals tearing into a downed wildebeest, they lunge and tear into the skin and bones of the hapless prey. They are tireless and insatiable.

Now, on this sunny May Day, they've turned up at the 26-story McGuire Apartments in Belltown, ripping at the northeast corner of the penthouse-topped parking garage. Part of Vine Street (between Second and Third) has buckled slightly from the weight of the machinery, but the Hitachi Zaxis 850, equipped with powerful pneumatic pincers, barely notices. The ground doesn't shake, but the warm air is studded with dull thumps as the jaws wrench concrete from rebar, rebar from concrete, and the rubble falls into the alley.

Rhine Demolition has the largest fleet of these giant excavators in the western United States. ("Demolition for Progress" is their motto.) Some pretty good demolition porn from previous projects, if that sort of thing turns you on.

More images on my Picasa web page.

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This page contains a single entry by Cornichon published on May 1, 2011 10:30 AM.

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