Bierlein Demolishes Toledo’s Jeep Plant
February 28, 2023
This article was originally published in the March/April 2002 issue of DEMOLITION magazine.
Beginning in January of this year, DaimlerChrysler Corporation hired NDA member Bierlein Companies of Midland, Michigan, one of the industry’s leading demolition, environmental and dismantling companies since 1957, to demolish a portion of its Parkway Assembly Plant in Toledo, Ohio. The Parkway Plant, with portions dating back to 1910, is most recognized for producing the famous World War II Jeep military vehicles and had been the home to Jeep Wranglers and Cherokees for the last 18 years.
Since the closing of the Parkway Plant, DaimlerChrysler recently opened the new, billion-dollar, state-of-the-art North Assembly Plant to produce their new Jeep Liberty model. The new north plant, which employs over 2,000 workers, is more cost efficient, produces over 200,000 Liberties annually and should help continue Toledo’s manufacturing renaissance.
While Chrysler’s employees have remained busy and are enjoying the luxuries of their new manufacturing facility, Bierlein demolition crews have begun demolishing the original Jeep Parkway Plant. The plant, built on 30 acres of land, has more than 4 million square feet of floor space.
Bierlein crews will demolish 2.3 million square feet of the plant without disrupting existing factory activities. As the plant’s manufacturing capabilities have to remain fully operational when demolition activities are taking place, pre-demolition planning and activities played a vital role in the success of the project.
Crews rerouted fiber optic lines and site utilities. This work was performed late in the day so day-to-day work activates of Chrysler employees would not be interrupted. Bierlein then built a weather-tight wall to divide the building in half so the remaining half could be demolished without the inside of the building being exposed to the outside elements of a wintry Toledo.
Bierlein crews employed a variety of demolition techniques commonly used for different types of construction material including steel, wood frame, concrete and brick. Several different types of attachments and machinery were mobilized on the site to assist in the demolition, processing, sorting and loading of the buildings and debris.
A Sumitomo 110-ton crawler crane with a 16,500-pound wrecking ball performed the demolition of concrete structures. Three Caterpillar 345 excavators, one equipped with an Allied 780 hammer and another with a Genesis 345 third member rotating shear, were also used to assist in concrete removal. A 375 Caterpillar excavator was used on-site to demolish, sort materials and load trucks.
Over the past two months it is estimated that over a million pounds of debris has been removed from the site.
“The project is going very well,” said Mike Burch, Bierlein’s project superintendent. “We have been very busy concentrating on demolition, controlling dust, separating debris and hauling it off-site. The best part is that we have had no injuries.”
Chrysler has no immediate plans for future development of the site and is very pleased with ongoing demolition work. Bierlein crews are expected to complete the project by August 2002.
Over the years, Bierlein has been awarded a great variety of demolition projects from the average to the unusual. Bierlein’s professional staff has been able to accommodate the special needs of their customers by developing state-of-the-art demolition procedures to complete projects safely and efficiently.
DaimlerChrysler’s Parkway Jeep Plant is but another example of Bierlein’s ability to demolish an active, complex project on time and on budget.