Smokestacks come down at old ammunition, make room for new development


by Adam Walser

Posted on March 22, 2012 at 4:00 PM

Updated Friday, Mar 23 at 8:17 PM

(WHAS11) – On Thursday, demolition began at an old power plant near Jeffersonville, Ind.

It was to make room for expansion of a business park, where sources say a new distribution center will be located.

Part of Southern Indiana history came tumbling down as one at a time, six smokestacks and a water tower from the old Army ammunition factory's power plant fell to the ground.

The company tearing down the building didn't use explosives, just heavy machinery, a jackhammer and gravity.

"It's almost like notching a tree. You relieve the front of it, more than likely, if you have a straight tree, it's gonna fall the way you notched it," Steve Murray, project foreman from ADS Trinity, said. ADS Trinity is the company with the demolition contract.

But Murray said the structures were well built.

"It's a strong building. The old timers built it fast and we're having a tough time getting her down," Murray said.

The old base made gunpowder and rocket propellant from World War II until the end of the cold war. It was built in a matter of months, starting in 1941.

Matthew Shearer is one of the people helping to take it all down.

"Sometimes it's creepy...snakes and spiders and old equipment," Shearer said.

Economic development officials say expansion of the River Ridge business park will mean lots of new jobs.

The 6,000 acre business park has six miles of highway frontage.

About 3,000 people work there now, but officials predict that number could grow to up to 20,000 in the next decade.

Sources tell us that an distribution facility currently under construction would bring up to 1,000 new jobs to the region.

An official announcement concerning the project is expected in the coming days.