TEC Receives ACEC Engineering Merit Award for Deconstructing “The Joe”

When the Detroit Red Wings moved to their new arena in 2017, the once-loved Joe Louis Arena (“The Joe”) in Detroit, Michigan, became an obsolete and blighted eyesore that presented public safety issues. The City of Detroit Building Authority (DBA) was tasked with demolishing the arena and readying the site for redevelopment.

The DBA retained Testing Engineers & Consultants, Inc. (TEC) to provide the required pre-demolition environmental due diligence in support of the deconstruction of the abandoned arena and overall site readiness for redevelopment.

The subsurface and building characterization investigations identified numerous brownfield challenges.  To achieve project objectives, the project team sought assistance from the Michigan Economic Development Corporation (MEDC).  To support that initiative, TEC prepared an Act 381 Workplan and provided technical expertise to help secure vital brownfield funding of more than $10,000,000.

In order to deconstruct the arena, hazardous materials needed to be identified, quantified, and removed prior to those activities.  TECidentified methods to manage the successful abatement of hazardous materials while maintaining the initial construction schedule.

Due to the proximity to the Detroit People Mover and Cobo Hall (presently Huntington Place), TEC conducted vibration/movement monitoring to protect nearby structures during deconstruction activities.  In addition, the concern for potential fugitive dust from the exterior abatement activities prompted TEC to perform air monitoring around the site perimeter to protect the public and workers.

Through TEC’s professional environmental and engineering expertise and insight, the abandoned arena/brownfield project was transformed into an environmentally and structurally sound riverfront property that was shovel ready for redevelopment.