St. Paul Public Safety Annex Building Demolition

Project Details

Client: St. Paul Public Safety
Location: St. Paul, MN
Services: Demolition


For more than a decade the future of Saint Paul’s ‘Pedro Park’ was up in the air.

14 years after the Pedro family bequeathed the site of their three-generation family business “Pedro Luggage” to the city for use as a park, Bolander was awarded the demolition of the adjacent building, Saint Paul’s Public Safety Annex, a four-story cast in place concrete building that was constructed almost a century ago.

The demolition of this building was the final piece of the puzzle to make way for the future .87-acre Pedro Park, taking up almost ½ a city block, the park will eventually feature walkways, open lawn space, public art, a fenced dog run and more.

The demolition project started with more than a quarter million dollars for removal of asbestos, lead, regulated waste, chemicals, PCB’s and old fuel tanks.

An areaway that runs under the 10th street sidewalk was completely filled with concrete lean fill to make sure the space would not collapse and could hold the loads of the adjacent road once the building structure was demolished.

Once the building was ready for physical demolition, Bolander’s 230,000 lb Liebherr 960 high reach demolition machine began chewing through the stout cast in place concrete building.  The building that previously housed some of Saint Paul’s Police department including heavy armored vehicles on two levels contained thousands of tons of concrete and heavy steel rebar.

Reducing the building to rubble was a great team effort by many members of Bolanders Demolition Team led by General Superintendent Dave Durand and Site Sup Eric Tuckner.  Once the building was gone, our Earthwork crews led by General Earthwork Superintendent Justin Degnan and Site Sup Justin Coleman brought in close to 10,000 cubic yards of soil from various other projects to create an interim green space that will be used by the public beginning this fall until the final park design is completed and fully funded.

Carl Bolander and Sons was proud to take part in making way for a new chapter of this area of our hometown at the corner of 10th St east and Robert Street.

Northrop Auditorium

Project Details

Client: JE Dunn
Location: Minneapolis, MN
Services: Select Demolition, Deep Foundations, Excavation


Historic Northrop Auditorium was constructed in 1929 and serves as a popular theatrical and performing arts venue on the campus of the University of Minnesota.  Bolander provided selective and structural demolition, excavation, and deep foundations within this iconic facility.

The work included complete demolition of the interior structures back to the exterior walls and roof. During all the work, the historic and irreplaceable Memorial Hall was protected from vibration and damage.  The entire existing balcony structure was removed upon execution of a sequenced demolition plan to included temporary structural bracing.

Underpinning work at Northrop allowed 16 of the original pad footings be replaced with pile caps to allow heavier future loads.  Utilizing micropiles, Bolander literally lifted and held existing structural columns supporting the building while structural retrofit occurred.  Bolander performed this work on a design-build basis and created detailed work plans to facilitate engineering and field coordination.

Bolander demolition expertise at Northrop earned a spot as a finalist at the 2011 World Demolition Awards in Amsterdam.

Bolander underpinning work at Northrop was featured at the National Council of Structural Engineers Associations 2013 Annual Conference.

35W Bridge Collapse Clean-Up

Project Details

Client: MNDOT
Location: Minneapolis, MN
Services: Recovery, Removals, Demolition


On August 1st, 2007 the I-35W Bridge in Minneapolis devastatingly collapsed and on August 4th, 2007 Bolander was contracted to remove the bridge components and piers to two feet below grade. This work was conducted under the supervision of the NTSB (National Transportation and Safety Board), MNDOT Bridge Department, and their Independent Engineers. There were many other authorities involved in the coordination of this work including the City of Minneapolis, State Highway Patrol, Hennepin County Sheriff, FBI, U.S. Navy, Coast Guard, Army COE, Federal Highway Administration and a large participation from State, Contractor, and Federal OSHA on site daily.

The first phase of the project was to assist in the recovery of five victims that were missing, and removal of all the vehicles, eighty-eight cars, six semi-trucks and construction equipment and personal items from the bridge. This could only be done when allowed by the Navy, as they did not want to endanger divers in the water should the bridge move or shift. We simultaneously worked multiple operations for removing the bridge. These operations were the river operations, the North and South approaches. The river operations required the use of barges, boats, divers, and crews for rigging, separating, and hoisting the material. The material was then moved down river to a staging area.

The next phase was the removal of the bridge material. All work areas had to be released to us in writing from DOT before we could start. The areas were only released after the NTSB, WJE, and DOT had completed their initial investigation on each section. Bolander removed material from the approaches.  It was hauled off site and recycled or staged for future use by MNDOT. The work required the utilization of cranes, excavators, loaders, man lifts, and miscellaneous other tools in each of the three areas of operation. Once the debris was removed from the river the channel was dredged and cleared for use.

As crews dismantled the 2,000 foot long bridge, every piece was photographed, labeled and cataloged prior to cutting or moving. Pieces of the bridge where then sent to one of three places depending on their importance as evidence in the ongoing investigation, some going as far away as Washington. In less than three months, Bolander crews removed 4,000 tons of steel and 10,000 tons of concrete by working 12 hours per day, six days per week. Carl Bolander & Sons logged over 30,000 hours on the bridge project without a single lost time accident.

Mayo Colonial Building Demo

Project Details

Client: Mayo Clinic Foundation
Location: Rochester, MN
Services: Demolition


Bolander was selected by the Mayo Clinic Foundation to perform the complete Building Demolition of the 7 story Colonial Building. The Colonial Building was one of the first original Mayo buildings in Rochester. The location of this project is at the heart of Rochester and Mayo Clinic.

Once complete, the new Mayo Proton building will take its place. This will be a 110,000 Square-foot expansion for Proton radiotherapy which is a more technically advanced cancer treatment.

The most technical aspect of this project is working alongside multiple other projects taking place, in this crowded working area. These projects being the first avenue tunnel expansion and the new Mayo Logistics building. Also, we are working alongside the active Eisenberg building which is a major MRI and surgery wing of the Mayo Clinic.




Project Details

Client: Ramsey County
Location: Arden Hills, MN
Services: Building Demolition, Excavation


The Twin Cities Army Ammunition Plant (TCAAP) is a former US Army ammunition plant built in the 1940’s to support World War II.  At one point this area employed over 20,000 people producing small caliber rounds.  After supporting the war it was eventually mothballed, redevelopment proved difficult due to extensive environmental pollution despite a few partial remediation efforts.

The full clean-up effort was completed by Bolander between 2013 to 2016 for Ramsey County.  Work was completed under a Contractor-At-Risk contract for demolition and remediation.  Atypical for environmental remediation, this contract put Bolander and our partner, Wenck, at risk for all overruns on known area of contamination for the site.  As part of the county’s purchase agreement, the US Army maintained liability for any unknown areas of contamination.  This unique contract structure allowed financing to move forward, eliminating concerns of overruns on this high risk scope of work.

All demolition and work has been completed. In 2015, Bolander was recognized for this effort by the National Demolition Association in winning the Environmental Excellence Award.  Bolander received the Certificate of Completion form in 2016 from the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency, clearing the way for the redevelopment and delisting this portion of TCAAP as an EPA superfund site.

Bolander’s significant environmental remediation of the site included removal of the following items:

  • 140,000 tons soil removed
  • 8,000 ton of PCB impacted soil removed.
  • 3,000 ton PCB impacted concrete removed
  • Mercury impacted concrete and drains
  • 29,000 ft of Asbestos piping
  • Regulated Waste
  • Asbestos Window Glazing, caulking, pipe wrap

Demolition of site included the following:

  • 22 remaining structures and foundations
  • 6 building foundations
  • 40,000 lf storm sewer
  • 38,000 lf sanitary sewer
  • 50,000 lf water main
  • 42,000 lf fence
  • 37,000 lf gas main

The extensive nature of the site and existing infrastructure allowed Bolander to conduct a massive recycling and salvage operation. 93% of the materials removed from the site were recycled or reused in new roadways there and in other parts of the Twin Cities.  An estimated 13,000-plus tons of steel and more than 400,000 tons of concrete and asphalt were recycled and reused, along with Crumpled steel girders, bails of rebar, mounds of misshapen concrete chunks, stacks of 2x12s and thick Douglas fir timbers.

Abbott Northwestern Central Utility Plant

Project Details

Client: JE Dunn
Location: Minneapolis, MN
Services: Building Demolition, Earth Retention, Excavation, Site Utilities


In the spring of 2021, JE Dunn awarded Bolander the site work construction for the Abbott Northwestern Central Utility project. Once awarded, we worked closely with the client on the high-level planning required to execute this complicated project. Bolander’s work consists of Building Demolition, Earth Retention, Excavation & Site Utilities.

Located on the corner of Chicago Avenue and East 26th Street, the new Central Utility Plant will replace the hospital’s outdated energy and steam-producing equipment with more reliable and energy-efficient technology. The hospital currently relies on steam and energy equipment dating back to 1956.

The project started with the demolition of the existing Harriet Walker and the Education buildings. Standing 6-Stories tall, the Harriet Walker building was a perfect opportunity to utilize the Liebherr R960 High-Reach Demolition Excavator. This machine has multiple configurations and the ability to reach 108’!

The Earth Retention portion of our work includes drill & set H-Pile and lagging, tie-backs, internal bracing, as well as soil solidification. Given the proximity to existing structures that are to remain intact as well as active medical facilities, vibration was a significant concern. Bolander worked with our engineering consultant to develop a plan to alleviate these concerns.

This project shows our ability to coordinate and collaborate with the general contractor as well as the other project partners and stakeholders.

Essentia Hospital – Vision Northland


Project Details

Client: McGough Construction
Location: Duluth, MN
Services: Building Demolition, Earth Retention, Excavation, Site Utilities


Essentia has been an exciting project with its success rooted in our partnership with Northland Constructors of Duluth. Starting in 2019, Northland took the lead on excavation and utilities while Bolander began demolition, deep foundations and earth retention.

The demolition has been unique to both the client and the structure involved.

“Essentia is an active hospital,” explained Evan Mackey, Demolition Division Manager, “Bolander worked closely with the general contractor and Essentia to implement means and methods that reduced noise, dust and vibration to mitigate impact to sensitive medical equipment, patients and pedestrian traffic.” Additionally, Bolander crews worked on demolition of a post-tension parking ramp. This included de-tensioned and re-tensioned structural cables.  Demolition crews also dismantled two existing skyways.

Foundation crews had to account for topographical challenges, as the site drop 110’ towards the shore of Lake Superior. Their work included five separate earth retention systems retaining as much as 62 vertical feet of rock and soil.  To maintain the aggressive schedule, our crews showed true commitment working long hours and even drilling through Thanksgiving weekend. Furthermore, Bolander drilled 100 foundation rock anchors and is scheduled to install 32 drilled piers.

Essentia has been an exciting project where Bolander, with our talented leadership and crews, overcame several obstacles to complete our scope of work safely and on time.  This project has sparked a great relationship with Northland Constructors which will lead to more opportunities for us in the Duluth market.

The Abbey

Project Details

Client: Yellow Tree Construction
Location: Minneapolis, MN
Services: Building Demolition, Earth Retention, Excavation, Site Utilities


In the Fall of 2020, Bolander was awarded the Yellow Tree project, The Abbey, consisting of building demolition, excavation, and underground utilities in preparation for a new apartment building.

This project began with the separation and demolition of an addition to the original H. Alden Smith mansion in the Loring Park neighborhood in Minneapolis.

Given the mansion’s status on the National Register of Historic Places, the building separation required the highest level of protection and attention to quality. Much to the delight of our client, our talented demolition crew members executed this surgical building separation without incident.

After demolition was complete, Bolander began the task of excavating for the new apartment building foundation. Early on in the excavation phase, Bolander crews discovered a great deal of unforeseen buried building elements as well as contaminated soils. The contaminated and debris laden soils required landfill disposal.

The underground utility scope of this project consisted of a water main service, sanitary sewer service and storm sewer work. This work included three street connections.

The Abbey was a challenging project that folded together several of the services in which Bolander provides. This was yet another prime example displaying how Bolander overcomes project obstacles by working together.