Why New Bedford’s ‘Cigarette’ Smokestack Hasn’t Yet Fallen
There's a certain mystique about why people like to see buildings come crashing down.
New Bedford native Andrew Saunders, the President of New Bedford Foss Marine Terminal, is the point man for the redevelopment effort to the former Cannon Street Power Plant off Route 18, which will be important to the offshore wind industry.
Part of that project calls for the demolition of quite a few structures, among them New Bedford's famous white "cigarette" smokestack. In time, Saunders will transform that area into a multi-use bulkhead.
It was supposed to be demolished by now, but it was postponed last week because the demolition company could not secure the proper insurance.
Questions about toxic issues have been raised. There are concerns about whether the stuff inside the stack is a hazard or air born threat, according to community organizer John "Buddy" Andrade.
"Our main goal is transparency," Saunders said. "For a while, we've been in talks with Buddy, who hears what our neighbors are saying. We plan on having the best of relationships with our neighbors for the next 30 years."
A new date for the demolition has not yet been announced. When asked about the implosion, Saunders described one possible scenario.
"As I understand it, the crew will take out certain pieces of the bottom of the stack and then gravity takes over," he said. "It's kind of like cutting down a tree; you make a notch on one side and a saw cut on the other side, to fall in a certain direction."
The iconic Cordage Park smokestack in Plymouth was demolished in a similar fashion.
It's good to see a unified approach here, and a reminder that money will be made. PACE is working to create a jobs training unit.
The improvements will create new opportunities benefitting New Bedford residents.
"I can't overstate enough the economic importance of this redevelopment," Saunders said.