How will tomorrow's 'controlled collapse' happen?
Leicester City Council's former headquarters in New Walk will be demolished in a controlled explosion tomorrow, with an exclusion zone in place across the city from 6am until 6pm.
The method used will collapse the two towers within their own footprint, and the contractors have promised the surrounding area will be cleaned and the roads and businesses re-opened within the same day.
The work is being carried out by Birmingham-based firm - DSM Demolition.
The process to demolish New Walk is very similar to when these two former tower blocks in Birmingham were brought down at Aston University in 2011.
Why is New Walk being demolished?
Structural surveys carried out in 2009 revealed the forty-year-old council buildings were no longer safe to be used at their full capacity.
Last summer it meant all city council staff previously based at New Walk were moved to City Hall, and plans were put in place to demolish the towers.
The council says the whole project will cost the it £19.9m. It says a revamp of the New Walk Centre by moving staff out temporarily, then rebuilding a new headquarters on the same site, would have cost £18m to make the buildings suitable, with a further £38m spent on a rebuild.
Therefore the costs to keep the 1975 built buildings going were too great.
Where is the exclusion zone?
The exclusion zone includes an area bordered by Upper Brown Street, Chancery Street and part of Pocklingtons Walk, part of Market Street including the Fenwick store, Wellington Street, Park Street, and the bottom section of New Walk from approximately Holy Cross Church.
The zone will extend across New Walk to King Street at its junction with Marquis Street, before crossing Duke Street, Mill Street, and Welford Road near Bannatyne’s gym.
It will continue to the rear of buildings on the western side of Welford Road, York Road and behind Newarke Street Car Park, which will be closed for the demolition.
Is there anywhere official I can watch the demolition from?
In a word - no. The council says there is no provision for members of the public to watch the demolition, although it says people are welcome to watch from outside the exclusion area.
The only people with a dedicated place to watch are those people evacuated from the exclusion zone, who can see the towers come down on a big screen at Leicester Tigers' Welford Road ground.
Parking and road access restrictions
On-street parking restrictions will come into effect from 6pm on Saturday 21st February, to ensure no vehicles are left in the exclusion zone or in Newarke Street car park.
The Southgates Underpass, Newarke Street and Welford Road will be closed to all traffic on Sunday 22nd February, along with all other roads in the exclusion zone, with southbound traffic advised to use alternative routes.
Southbound traffic using the underpass will be turned around at St Nicholas Circle and directed clockwise round the inner ring road.
Traffic bound for Welford Road will be signposted clockwise along Vaughan Way, Burleys Way, St Matthews Way, St Georges Way, Waterloo Way and Tigers Way.
Drivers leaving Highcross won’t be able to use Southgates, but instead will be turned around via St Nicholas Circle and directed onto the inner ring road or Hinckley Road.
Newarke Street car park will be closed throughout the demolition, with access to the NCP car park at Duke Street via Regent Road only.
If you are driving in Leicester on the day, the council is advising motorists to allow extra time for their journeys.
Which bus services will be affected?
Bus services will still depart from their normal city centre bus stops. Some services will be subject to delays and diversions for the duration of the demolition. People need to allow extra time for their journeys in to and out of the city centre.
While the roads in the vicinity of New Walk Centre are closed, buses will not serve Pocklington’s Walk and Horsefair Street on inbound journeys and Belvoir Street, Welford Place and part of Welford Road on outbound journeys.
Signposts on bus stops will give details of service alterations and diversions. The services being diverted include the 47A, 48 and 48A, 49A, 84, 85, 87, 88 and 88A, and X6.
What happens next?
The debris from the buildings will be sorted and graded for reuse. Rubble will be processed to turn it into hardcore, some of which will then be used to backfill parts of the site. The remainder of the hardcore will used on local construction projects.
The site itself should have been cleared and made ready for redevelopment by May 2015.