Boom Goes the Dynamite

If you’re familiar at all with the geography of the West Plains, you know it’s best known for two things – a lot of wind and acres of big rocks. As you can imagine, building anything on a solid sheet of basalt rock requires some heavy equipment, skilled crews and a few sticks of dynamite – or in this case, a bit of well-placed explosive compound.

To ensure the safety of guests and construction crews, there’s a science behind the blasting process.  While many of us would love to see the results of several mini explosions, it’s not as exciting as it sounds when it comes to prepping the ground for a new building.  It’s a very controlled process, where a series of small explosions are planned over a period of time.  Since the explosions are necessary to remove solid rock so crews can effectively pour stabilizing concrete footings – and not just to be visibly spectacular – the explosions can seem a bit anti-climactic. 

Even if you know the blasting is about to occur, you’ll be surprised that the noise level is pretty low and the spray of dirt and rocks dissipates quickly.  Crews use “blasting mats” over the explosive material to suppress the noise and prevent rock fragments and dirt from injuring anyone or damaging anything.  If you’re not familiar with blasting mats, they’re made of sliced-up rubber tires bound together with ropes, cables or chains.  Sometimes, the blasting mats are used in combination with blasting blankets, which provide an additional layer of protection over the mats.

Because our new expansion is located on the corner of Hayford Road and Northern Quest Drive, our blasting requires crews to temporarily shut down south and westbound traffic for short periods of time during blasting (approximately 5 minutes) to ensure complete safety for drivers.  If you happen to get stopped for a few minutes during blasting time (weekdays between the hours of 10am and 3pm), just sit back, relax and enjoy the show.  While you likely won’t see any rock flying, you’re bound to at least see a big poof of dust and some movement of those blasting mats.  And in the coming months, you’ll see that dust transform into an exciting new facility at Northern Quest that will include more family-friendly entertainment, dining and retail space.  Click here to see the future.