Hotel demolished ahead of new FLL runway's opening - WSVN-TV - 7NEWS Miami Ft. Lauderdale News, Weather, Deco

Hotel demolished ahead of new FLL runway's opening

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Hilton hotel being demolished Hilton hotel being demolished

DANIA BEACH, Fla. (WSVN) -- A Dania Beach hotel is being torn down to make room for Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport's new runway.

The new $791 million, 8,000-foot-long runway is expected to open in September. Officials said aircrafts will only be able to use the runway if the Hilton, located at Griffin Road and Interstate 95, was demolished, so that the eight-story hotel would not obstruct the flight path to the runway. "It makes us more efficient but not larger," said Broward County Aviation spokesperson Greg Meyer.

The hotel is being torn down in sections, and it should be completed by early June. "We used Bobcats inside the building to clear out everything except the columns and the concrete, and then they use excavators to break apart the beams that hold the structure on certain floors, demolishing a section at a time," said project administrator Richard Lauricella.

Breaking the hotel down in sections is in fact faster than if explosives were used. "The problem with exploding a building would be, you have to be in the building, quite possible a year in advance, gutting it and placing the explosives," said Lauricella.

Officials said the county bought the hotel for $62 million.

Once the hotel is completely gone, the runway will not take its place. Rather, it will simply be a safety zone. The entire demolition project is running up a bill of just over $2 million.

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