Upcoming BO (Botsford) Tower Demolition

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GTW Dude
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Upcoming BO (Botsford) Tower Demolition

Unread post by GTW Dude »

As some may know, the BO Tower also known as Botsford tower in Kalamazoo is slated for demolition in the near future. Her shingles she has worn since her asbestos installation in the 1950's have been removed revealing a black undercoat that hasn't seen the light of day in over half a century. There have been attempts to save the tower but it appears that all of them have fallen through including one proposing to move the tower by flatbed to Schoolcraft MI. Since her outside shingles have been removed IIRC they used to cover up the asbestos lagging at least on the outside layer (which i know was a problem for previous groups attempting to save the tower due to the 3500$ price tag) would this be another step forward for anyone looking to save the building? Also does anyone know when Amtrak/MDOT plans to take the tower down with a demo crew? It would really be a shame to watch Michigans second to last interlocking tower fall but you might as well make the best of the inevitable.
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justalurker66
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Re: Upcoming BO (Botsford) Tower Demolition

Unread post by justalurker66 »

Has the asbestos been removed?

I assume that the railroad will get rid of the tower in the cheapest way possible. If it is cheaper to load it on a truck (or flat bed train) and move it somewhere than it is to demolish the tower then there is hope. All someone has to do is find someone with a place to put the building who is willing to accept the building and all the liabilities attached. If it costs more to move than demolish then someone needs to cover the difference.

Much cheaper to save relics have been lost.

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Re: Upcoming BO (Botsford) Tower Demolition

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That's a lot of someone's.

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Re: Upcoming BO (Botsford) Tower Demolition

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justalurker66 wrote:
Fri Nov 12, 2021 8:26 am
Has the asbestos been removed?

I assume that the railroad will get rid of the tower in the cheapest way possible...
Removal done by Amtrak, or tower owner State of Michigan?

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GTW Dude
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Re: Upcoming BO (Botsford) Tower Demolition

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Steve B wrote:
Sat Nov 13, 2021 5:37 pm
justalurker66 wrote:
Fri Nov 12, 2021 8:26 am
Has the asbestos been removed?

I assume that the railroad will get rid of the tower in the cheapest way possible...
Removal done by Amtrak, or tower owner State of Michigan?
As to if the abatement has been completed at all is my question.
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justalurker66
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Re: Upcoming BO (Botsford) Tower Demolition

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GTW Dude wrote:
Sat Nov 13, 2021 7:24 pm
As to if the abatement has been completed at all is my question.
Mine too. Hence the "Has the asbestos been removed?"

If that portion of the demolition has been completed then there is a small chance that "someone" will step in but the scenario described above still stands. It has to be cheaper for the current owner (probably the State of Michigan which is the railroad in this case) to dispose of the tower via "someone" who wants it than to simply dismantle it and send it to wherever demolition waste goes in the 21st century.

Since there is no identified "someone" willing to cut the state's losses I expect the tower will be demolished - as have many other old buildings that are no longer of use. Sorry.

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Re: Upcoming BO (Botsford) Tower Demolition

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They got a $49,800 FEDP grant for the demolition.

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Re: Upcoming BO (Botsford) Tower Demolition

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The fundamental problem is what to do with the tower if it were moved? Lacking a renewed purpose there isn't the financial backing to save it. If there were a IRM or Strasburg in west Michigan it could be a historic addition. To just move it to an empty lot somewhere would leave it's future in the same jeopardy it is today.

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Re: Upcoming BO (Botsford) Tower Demolition

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12Bridge wrote:
Mon Nov 15, 2021 11:24 am
They got a $49,800 FEDP grant for the demolition.
Granted September 2020: FRA's Consolidated Rail Infrastructure and Safety Improvements (CRISI)

Michigan – Trespass Prevention and Pedestrian Safety Enhancements on the Michigan Line (Multiple Opportunity Zones)
Up to $15,619,365
Michigan Department of Transportation
Seeks to eliminate trespasser hotspots along the rail line from Dearborn to Kalamazoo, Michigan, owned by the Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT), by improving eight grade crossings, closing another crossing, and installing approximately 157 miles of right-of-way fencing. The hotspot locations are found in downtown Dearborn, Ypsilanti, Ann Arbor, Albion, Augusta, Galesburg, and Kalamazoo. Trespassing incidents have resulted in 12 deaths between 2016 and 2019.

This $15.6 million was applied to the $89,949,191 FY21 budget.

So ... removing the tower is "trespasser prevention".

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Re: Upcoming BO (Botsford) Tower Demolition

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justalurker66 wrote:
Mon Nov 15, 2021 6:00 pm

So ... removing the tower is "trespasser prevention".
Based on how much tagging is on that building, its defiantly a hot spot.
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Re: Upcoming BO (Botsford) Tower Demolition

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justalurker66 wrote:
Mon Nov 15, 2021 6:00 pm
So ... removing the tower is "trespasser prevention".
Far more trespassing occurs east of BO Harrison St to Gerhart and west of the depot. They more likely to run over a bar hopper Porter St. than a graffiti vandal at BO.

From a business prospective BO can't be left indefinitely. Trespassing is a good justification for the expense.

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Re: Upcoming BO (Botsford) Tower Demolition

Unread post by Saturnalia »

Can't say they didn't give folks a chance to save it. It's been several years, time for it to go.
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Re: Upcoming BO (Botsford) Tower Demolition

Unread post by kd_1014 »

Saturnalia wrote:
Tue Nov 16, 2021 6:12 pm
Can't say they didn't give folks a chance to save it. It's been several years, time for it to go.
I agree. Especially with the asbestos siding removed, it's an eyesore.

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Re: Upcoming BO (Botsford) Tower Demolition

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justalurker66 wrote:
Mon Nov 15, 2021 6:00 pm
12Bridge wrote:
Mon Nov 15, 2021 11:24 am
They got a $49,800 FEDP grant for the demolition.
Granted September 2020: FRA's Consolidated Rail Infrastructure and Safety Improvements (CRISI)

Michigan – Trespass Prevention and Pedestrian Safety Enhancements on the Michigan Line (Multiple Opportunity Zones)
Up to $15,619,365
Michigan Department of Transportation
Seeks to eliminate trespasser hotspots along the rail line from Dearborn to Kalamazoo, Michigan, owned by the Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT), by improving eight grade crossings, closing another crossing, and installing approximately 157 miles of right-of-way fencing. The hotspot locations are found in downtown Dearborn, Ypsilanti, Ann Arbor, Albion, Augusta, Galesburg, and Kalamazoo. Trespassing incidents have resulted in 12 deaths between 2016 and 2019.

This $15.6 million was applied to the $89,949,191 FY21 budget.

So ... removing the tower is "trespasser prevention".
Different grant. The 49,800 is a MI State Grant, specifically for tower removal. They got a boatload of money for other stuff as well, as usual.

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Re: Upcoming BO (Botsford) Tower Demolition

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12Bridge wrote:
Wed Nov 17, 2021 9:59 am
Different grant. The 49,800 is a MI State Grant, specifically for tower removal. They got a boatload of money for other stuff as well, as usual.
The budget shows the line item for the tower demolition and a line item for the federal grant in the same budget.

Do you have a reference for this "FEDP" grant of which you speak?

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Re: Upcoming BO (Botsford) Tower Demolition

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PatAzo wrote:
Mon Nov 15, 2021 3:47 pm
The fundamental problem is what to do with the tower if it were moved? Lacking a renewed purpose there isn't the financial backing to save it. If there were a IRM or Strasburg in west Michigan it could be a historic addition. To just move it to an empty lot somewhere would leave it's future in the same jeopardy it is today.
Just a thought, would this tower be of any use to the Greenfield Village Railroad/Henry Ford Museum? I mean if I remember correctly, Greenfield Village has a few historic railroad buildings that were relocated to their property.

Edit: of course, I realise had this organization been interested it would had been done already. Just seems like a neat addition to their railroad and a way to save a piece of railroad history. Wonder if they even knew about the tower coming down?

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Re: Upcoming BO (Botsford) Tower Demolition

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Conrail Quality wrote:
Sat Nov 20, 2021 1:24 pm

Just a thought, would this tower be of any use to the Greenfield Village Railroad/Henry Ford Museum? I mean if I remember correctly, Greenfield Village has a few historic railroad buildings that were relocated to their property.

Edit: of course, I realise had this organization been interested it would had been done already. Just seems like a neat addition to their railroad and a way to save a piece of railroad history. Wonder if they even knew about the tower coming down?
At this point to add a building you would have to remove something. There is no room in the village for really anything new without removing something else or disrupting current displays. The village areas are themed, so you can't just throw it somewhere near the tracks and call it good.
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Re: Upcoming BO (Botsford) Tower Demolition

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Conrail Quality wrote:
Sat Nov 20, 2021 1:24 pm
PatAzo wrote:
Mon Nov 15, 2021 3:47 pm
The fundamental problem is what to do with the tower if it were moved? Lacking a renewed purpose there isn't the financial backing to save it. If there were a IRM or Strasburg in west Michigan it could be a historic addition. To just move it to an empty lot somewhere would leave it's future in the same jeopardy it is today.
Just a thought, would this tower be of any use to the Greenfield Village Railroad/Henry Ford Museum? I mean if I remember correctly, Greenfield Village has a few historic railroad buildings that were relocated to their property.

Edit: of course, I realise had this organization been interested it would had been done already. Just seems like a neat addition to their railroad and a way to save a piece of railroad history. Wonder if they even knew about the tower coming down?
The rumor is they looked at it, and decided against bringing it to Dearborn. Although, they may have ended up with the interlocking machine?

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Re: Upcoming BO (Botsford) Tower Demolition

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One of the operators told me the model board was going to Greenfield Village. They had considered the tower up moving it that distance was cost prohibitive. True or not I do not know.

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