Difficulties with demolition: How the process works


UTICA, N.Y. (WUTR-TV) — Demolition downtown seems to be slowing down, which has left many members of the community wondering what’s going on. Eyewitness news reached out to MVHS to speak with demolition crews but no one was available. So, we contacted an outside agency called Yanuk Excavating LLC. Yuri Yanuk, the company’s vice president says that legally you have to take certain steps before you can even begin the demolition process.

First, the customer has to provide an asbestos clearance or certificate stating that it is not present in the building. However, if there are asbestos, then the customer must hire an evironmental agency to come in and take samples and create a report on their findings. Once the structure has been cleared, then they must apply for a permit from the city, which generally takes a few days to obtain.

No matter how much planning goes into a project, it’s always possible to encounter a number of unexpected problems. Yuri says, the foundation of the structure could have thicker slabs than anticipated, thus slowing down progress. In large, commerical, multi-level buildings, there could be an incredible reinforcement in the foundation. Including unknown utilites, pipes and culverts running through the middle of a property. In that situation, demoltion would come to a stop and engineers would have to come in and figure out how crews can proceed.

After the foundation has been ripped up, if another structure is going in it’s place, then crews will start creating the infrastructure on the ground for the new building. This would include things like sewer and water. Creating a new foundation also involves rerouting the existing utilities or adding on a new line. There’s a lot that goes on below the surface of a building so it’s impossible to predict what could be there. Yuri says although there are buildings coming down, there’s still a lot of work beneath the ground.

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