Turn out the lights, the party’s over
The three units have been taken down by Dixie Contractors, which plans to vacate its Rockdale Operations worksite by July 31, give or take a few days, according to Claude Hendrickson, Dixie owner.
One last task remains. Several silos are still standing but they could come down as soon as next weekend.
Then it’s just a matter of cleanup and the mammoth three-year job, which saw as many as 160 workers on-site, will be over.
Laydown yard Most of the dismantled power plant material has been taken to a “laydown yard” just west of Rockdale off US 79.
Dixie will continue to operate a security force at the laydown yard.
Unit 2 has been sold and will be shipped to Guatemala, Hendrickson said. Units 1 and 3 are being recycled for parts.
“Ninety-nine point nine percent of everything we took down is being re-used or recycled,” Hendrickson said.
The project also resulted in the isolation and removal of 36 million pounds of asbestos from the site.
“It’s now in a Class Three landfill as mandated by the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality,” Hendrickson said.
There had been some question as to whether Units 1, 2 and 3’s large smokestacks would come down in the demolition project.
“They are staying up, at least for the time being,” Hendrickson said. “The silos and the rest of the debris being hauled away is going to be it.”
The three units first provided power in 1954 and were the original three units for Alcoa’s Rockdale smelter.
They were the focus of a pollution suit which saw a federal judge order them shut down by Dec. 31, 2006.
Two years later Alcoa closed its Rockdale smelter.
Hendrickson said the project has been a big success.
“First, and most importantly, nobody got hurt,” he said. “Everything went smoothly. Alcoa was wonderful to work with.
“I enjoyed being in Rockdale and becoming a part of this community,” he said.
Hendrickson hopes Dixie’s next job is a project in Austin. “I’m still going to be around Rockdale,” he said.