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Thursday, April 7, 2011

Oakland Goes Off with a Blast Tomorrow

Posted By on Thu, Apr 7, 2011 at 5:06 PM

click to enlarge Oakland's bringing down the house
  • Oakland's bringing down the house

A boom and a blast? Sounds like a regular afternoon in parts of Oakland.

Expect to cover your ears if you are in Oakland tomorrow morning, when the city will roll in 800 pounds of dynamite and implode the former Oak Knoll U.S. Naval Medical Center in the Oakland Hills.

No doubt, any eruption, let alone one of this magnitude, will be an alarming sound and sight for the typically serene and quiet Oakland Hills neighborhood.

But it's necessary. The implosion is the cleanest and safest way to bring down the 11-story hospital, which has served as a medical center for soldiers returning from wars since 1968.

The hospital closed in 1996, and was supposed to be redeveloped as a planned community. However, in November 2008 that plan was stalled after Lehman Brothers collapsed.

Joe Aguirre, spokesman with SunCal, the Irving-based developer in charge of the implosion, says the company has alerted residents in the surrounding neighborhood -- and has even set up a viewing area for firebugs who want to get a glimpse of the action.

"It will be fairly loud," Aguirre says. "You will have a series of charges going off to bring it down, so it will be heard."

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About The Author

Erin Sherbert

Erin Sherbert

Erin Sherbert has been Online News Editor for SF Weekly since 2010. She's a Texas native and has a closet full of cowboy boots to prove it.


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