TONAWANDA, N.Y. (WIVB) — The Tonawanda Coke smokestacks have come down in an implosion that was heard across the Northtowns.
A sign of agony is now gone from the Western New York’s landscape.
It took years of planning, and now the three smokestacks that filled the Tonawanda skyline are no more they were taken out by dynamite.
Tonawanda Coke site was forced to close by the state’s department of environmental conservation in 2018. Many who were at today’s implosion say the century-old smokestacks served as a reminder of the horrible environmental and health impacts this site caused.
Demolition leaders have been at the site for the past week clearing it and making sure it was safe. CEO of Ontario specialty contracting Jon Williams, who owns this site, says that safety was the main priority during what is a big day in Western New York.
“The stacks, as significant as the environmental clean up, the stacks were a very visible representation of what was here. That was the point of contamination when the air was polluted. So having the stacks come down for the community and Western New York it means it’s not coming back,” Williams said.
The Clean Air Coalition has been fighting for the safety of Tonawanda residents for years and has called for the sites closure. They had a viewing party in grand island this morning, those in attendance say it was an emotional day.
As for if and when the site will be redeveloped, Williams says it will be a years long process to clean up the site and likely won’t be until 2025 before they can begin talking about what to build here.
The Tonawanda Coke stacks, which have been a part of the waterfront view for years, just came down in a boom this morning.
Here’s a ground-level look:
Our Air 4 drone also got a look at the implosion from the sky:
The plant suddenly shutdown in October 2018 after filing for bankruptcy.