AUSTIN, Texas (FOX 7 Austin) – The dust cloud has finally settled on West Campus after a parking garage was imploded Sunday morning making way for a new student housing project. It only took a few seconds for a six-story multi-level garage located at 715 West 23rd Street to come down.
Sunday morning, more than a dozen people watched from behind barriers as the parking garage disappeared into a plume of smoke that spread out over the surrounding area. Jacob Wologo lives in Houston and drove three hours with friends to get a front row seat to the implosion.
"It was like pow, pow, pow, and it was like boom and it all happened at once. Movies don’t do it justice because they’re not as loud this was louder than I expected it to be also there was stuff flying everywhere. This one had one big spout of dust it was really cool," said Wologo.
Wologo along with many others shared the same enthusiasm.
"It was kind of scary not going to lie, because it’s like bang and it’s like..Wow," said Marcus Delzell.
Multiple police blockades were put in place to ensure safety.
"There’s a lot of pre planning that goes into it to notify all the occupants in the surrounding buildings put up protective barriers in all the surrounding buildings road closures," said Lt. Kevin Hass, with the Austin Fire Department.
Crews shut down several streets from 5 a.m. to noon from West 24th Street to San Gabriel, down to West 22nd Street. San Gabriel Street and Nueces Street marked the west and east boundaries of the exclusion zone respectively.
Before crews hit the switch on an implosion residents living in apartments across or near Pearl Street and West 23rd Street including University of Texas student Hannah Sauer were asked to avoid the area some people were evacuated.
"Well I live in the building right there and so I saw it on Twitter that you are supposed to avoid this area but I can’t avoid it because I live here. Where am I supposed to go? So I thought well how about I just watch the implosion that will be pretty cool to put it on Instagram," said Sauer.
Work crews spent most of the day cleaning it up concrete and metal from the garage complex.
AFD says the demolition will make way for construction of a new student housing complex called "The Standard at Austin." It’s unclear when the project for the new apartments will begin.