Demolition of the crumpled Cal State Northridge parking structure, a symbol of the devastation of last year's Northridge earthquake, has begun and will continue for two months.
A crew of 12 construction workers from Cornerstone, an El Centro-based company, is razing the mass of twisted steel and concrete using hydraulically powered excavators and shears, which can cut through almost 40 inches of concrete and reinforcing bars, said Paul Hurley, field representative for the construction company.
The demolition, which started Friday, will cost $637,000, he said.
Hurley said 70% of the rubble from the collapsed parking structure will be recycled on site and made into building materials for future projects. The remainder will be processed off-site.
"Every pound of steel and concrete will be reused somehow," Hurley said.
There are no plans for a new parking structure to replace the massive garage, Hurley said. The land will be turned into a grassy area, he added.
The Jan. 17 quake and its aftershocks left about half of the five-level, four-acre structure collapsed or on the verge of collapse on the east and west ends, according to a recent engineering report from Dames & Moore.
Andrew Curd, president of A. T. Curd Constructors, which built the garage in 1990-91 at a cost of $11.3 million, said last January that the garage was built to code, but that the ground motion of the temblor wildly exceeded those the code was designed to withstand.
The university declined to litigate the matter at the time, even though a plan-check firm hired in August, 1990--Esgil Corp.--said it had misgivings about the structure's ability to absorb the seismic forces the builder cited.