Two thousand explosive charges will reduce Greyfriars Bus Station in Northampton into a three-metre-high pile of rubble on Mother’s Day.
Demolition experts DSM Ltd and Northampton Borough Council have today announced that the 1974 building, once described as ‘the mouth of Hell’, will disappear from Northampton’s skyline on Sunday, March 15.
The 20,000 tonne structure will be ‘imploded’, according to DSM Ltd’s contract manager Billy Young.
He said the ‘controlled collapse of the building’, using a high-tech electronic demolition trigger designed to explode large quarries, will take between just five and eight seconds.
A total of 414 properties will be evacuated from 8am on the day, though the exact timing of the demolition will not be revealed.
Questionnaires are being delivered to those properties today, asking residents information on disability or other requirements for the day of evacuation.
A temporary evacuation shelter will be set up at the Park Inn Hotel on Silver Street on the day for the displaced residents.
Steel fences are set to enclose the as-yet-undefined exclusion zone while a 70-strong team of DSM employees and police will patrol its perimeter.
But with public safety a priority, leader of the borough council Councillor David Mackintosh has insisted the demolition is ‘not a public event’.
He said: “We are not encouraging people to come into the town centre.
“There will not be a viewing area, people will not be able to get a good view of this.
“The best view will be live on the internet.”
Councillor Mackintsoh also warned that anyone using drones to film the event on the day could delay the demolition, as the explosive charges will not be triggered if any of the remote controlled flying machines are seen in the air.
“Drones are strictly forbidden,” he said. “They could cause serious delays to the process.
“If there is any sign of a drone being used the collapse will be suspended.”
Mr Young said those displaced by the demolition on the day, should be allowed to return to their homes and businesses by ‘mid-afternoon’, once a team of operatives have cleaned the dust created by the collapse.
He said: “Immediately after the collapse, a team of roadsweepers and operatives with jet washers will make sure the nearby area is cleaned efficiently.”
Mr Young added that bringing down Greyfriars will be in the ‘top ten’ most difficult demolitions he has overseen in his 30 years in the trade.
The reinforced concrete structure, he said, will have to be collapsed ‘within its own footprint’, due to its proximity to the Grosvenor Centre and surrounding buildings.