Take a look back at the former home of the Dallas Cowboys before the April 11 implosion

Texas Stadium Will Go "BOOM, BOOM, BOOM!"

Cowboys former home could remain standing for several minutes

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    NEWSLETTERS

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    Anyone hoping for one big explosion will be disappointed.

    Set your clocks to get up early the morning of April 11 -- 7 a.m., to be precise.

    That's when Texas Stadium will be reduced to a pile of rubble by a powerful implosion.

    "It goes kaboom," said Jim Redyke, of Dykon Explosive Demolition from Tulsa, Okla.

    A week before the big bang, the demolition team will begin to set 2,500 pounds of dynamite and steel-cutting linear charges placed in 2,200 holes drilled in the stadium's support columns.

    Texas Stadium Prepped for Implosion

    [DFW] Texas Stadium Prepped for Implosion
    The lowdown on how Texas Stadium will go down at 7 a.m. Sunday, April 11, 2010.

    "If it's off-center by three or four inches, then there could be problem," said Jim Rawson, of A&R Demolition. "You have to make sure that they're pretty much centered in the middle of the column."

    On the morning of April 11, Casey Rogers of Terrell will push the actual button to trigger the implosion. The 11-year-old won an essay contest sponsored by Kraft Foods.

    He'll use a wireless blasting machine to set off the explosives.

    "I can't wait to make it explode," the sixth-grader said. "It's going to be like, "POOOOHHHFF!"

    But in fact, there will be a series of explosions during the next minute.

    "There are over 50 half-second delays," Redyke said. "So when you push the button and you hear, 'Kaboom,' what you're going to hear is the primacord going off and setting the fuses of the detonators that are in the column that have an eight-second delay. So you're going to hear, 'Boom, boom, boom,' and you're not going to see anything happen, and you're going to wonder, 'Oh, dear.'"

    The stadium itself may remain standing for up to five minutes after the explosions before collapsing on top of what was the Cowboys home field.

    "You'll see the building fold in, and then the trusses come down, and then the abutments start to move," Redyke said. "It's a very complex delay process to make all of that happen."

    Texas Stadium's signature roof will actually help by letting the air out as the building collapses.

    The job's not done after the implosion. It will take workers more than three months to remove all the debris, including 200,000 tons of crushed concrete, which the Texas Department of Transportation will recycle into nearby road surfaces.

    To help in removing all the debris, workers started covering what was the field inside Texas Stadium five months ago, using 600 trucks per day to fill the bowl with 390,000 cubic yards of dirt.

    "It will just make it easier to go ahead and clean this up," said Al Weir, the general contractor on the project. "Whenever all this concrete comes down on a level surface, so it makes it a lot easier to clean it up."

    Workers have already finished stripping the stadium of nearly everything but concrete and steel, including the asbestos.

    "We're blessed to have a large site to deal (with) where we don't have to worry so much about debris flying out of here," said Doug Janeway, of the city of Irving. "Lot of times, implosions happen in downtown areas where you have a lot of things close by. Here, we're lucky that we've established a 750-foot radius and that is located primarily within this site."

    The entire project cost $5.8 million; $450,000 of that is just for the implosion itself. The rubble from the implosion will be recycled.

    "It's bittersweet to see this coming down," Weir said.