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Georgia Dome Going Out With A Bang

Contractors have been working for months, preparing for Monday’s implosion of the Georgia Dome.
Contractors have been working for months, preparing for Monday’s implosion of the Georgia Dome.
Credit Sam Whitehead / WABE
Audio version of this story here.

It should take just about 12 seconds for the Georgia Dome to be reduced to rubble. The stadium’s implosion is set for 7:30 a.m. Monday.

But contractors have been working to bring down the structure for months.

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Equipment, like seats and scoreboards, has been removed; interior walls have been demolished, and large black curtains have been draped over the building to keep debris from flying off.

A final step is placing the more than 2 tons of explosives that will be used to bring the building down.

Large black curtains have been draped over the Georgia Dome to keep debris from flying off. (Sam Whitehead/WABE)

“And then over the next few days explosive wire will be connected to those to allow them to be activated once a detonator is attached,” said Matt Dale, who’s helping to oversee the demolition.

He says, if all goes well, those explosives will make the stadium fall in on itself, like an accordion.

There won’t be much drama, aside from the massive building collapsing. Dale says don’t expect any loud, earth-shaking explosions.

“Most of what people will notice is the dust cloud. That will come up through the roof, and the winds will likely carry it east across downtown,” he said.

Dale says how quickly the cloud dissipates will depend on the weather. The best conditions? A clear day with a stiff breeze.

Just about 80 feet away from the Georgia Dome sits the Georgia World Congress Center.

Adam Straight helps manage that campus, which includes the site where the stadium sits, and has been planning for all that dust.

“We’ll start to cover our water features with tarps, put some hay bales and some silt socks around some drainage across the campus so the dust won’t get into the stormwater system,” he explained.

No one will be allowed near the Georgia Dome during the implosion: Officials will set up a restricted area around the site.

A number of nearby roads will be closed starting at 5:30 a.m. the morning of the demolition, though they’re expected to be open by 11 a.m.

MARTA has also planned to replace rail service west of the Five Points station with shuttle bus service on Monday until it’s safe for trains to run again.

As for the hulking pile of rubble left behind when the Georgia Dome comes down, project manager Dale says cleanup will take a while.

“We’ll pull the metal out of the roof and other miscellaneous materials and leave just the concrete, crushing that in place. And that crushing and grading process takes about three months,” he said.

From that blank slate, a combination park/tailgating lot will rise up. A hotel is also planned for the former stadium site.

There won’t be any public viewing areas for the event. Anyone wanting to watch the Georgia Dome’s final moments can stream the event online.