Dome turned to dust

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Indianapolis - An Indianapolis landmark came crashing down in just seconds Saturday as crews imploded the RCA Dome.

The mid-December weather proved perfect for the implosion, the culmination of  nearly a year of demolition to the former home of the Colts.

"We got up this morning, and saw the wind was from the northwest, a slight breeze that's just perfect," said Tom Scheele of Sheil Sexton, the company in charge of the demolition.

An hour before the blast, police closed off streets surrounding the dome.

"We have about 40 officers out here for traffic and crowd control issues, if there are any," Capt. Bates said.

Most crowds gathered inside hotels with a view, waiting with crews below through an unexpected delay.

"Right at the last minute, we had a person who went into one of the parking garages," Scheele said.

Within 30 minutes of schedule, the countdown was underway. More than 600 pounds of dynamite placed in 875 positions on four levels of the dome were lit, starting the implosion.

Curious onlookers got up early, climbing onto rooftops in below freezing weather to see and hear the implosion for themselves.

"And I was like, 'Whoa! They must be detonating' and I saw part of it go down, and I was like, 'They are going to do the whole thing'," said one of the viewers. "I've seen YouTube videos of implosions like this one and I mean, the RCA Dome. Aw, man, look at that dust."

"Oh, that's awesome!" said one spectator.

"It just split in half and went to nowhere," said another.

Other fans reminisced about dome memories as it fell to the ground.

"There goes my good seats I used to have," said one man. "I've been to a lot of games here, so it's sad to see it go."

"I can't believe for one of the monster truck rallies I was sitting right there," said a younger fan.

It took ten seconds before the concrete structure started to fall and about 20 until the walls came tumbling down.

"Textbook. Really excited about it," Scheele said.

"Everything looks really good," Mark Loizeaux, president of Controlled Demolition Inc., said after the stadium was brought down. "I'm actually surprised the debris is as low as it is."

The protective tarps that had been wrapped around neighboring buildings were quickly removed to check for damage. A steel beam penetrated the convention center's loading dock - damage which demolition crews consider minor.

Almost immediately after the dome came down, traffic on Illinois Street about a block away was moving as usual. While it will take four months to clean up the debris, construction on the expanded convention center is scheduled for next month.

The debris will be further broken up and hauled to a local disposal site, said David Sease, a spokesman for the Indiana Stadium and Convention Building Authority. The concrete then will be processed and will likely end up as part of roads.

"Our next milestone is about a month from now, when we want the new construction to begin right at that north edge where the dome was," Scheele said. "There's a three-story structure that creates a new entrance along Georgia Street, so somewhere in late January, February, we'll start the concrete foundation, structural steel."

The only clean-up on Saturday was crews watering down the dust that covered streets around the dome site.

(Eyewitness News reporters Kris Kirschner, Cat Andersen and Richard Essex and the Associated Press contributed to this story.)