Hundreds watch building implosion in KY

By Shayla Reaves - bio | email

LOUISVILLE (WAVE) - The Louisville skyline has changed forever, and the next time you drive downtown you'll notice the Humana building that sat at Second and Main is gone. We covered the event from the air and on the ground, as the building imploded according to plan at about 7 a.m. Saturday. As WAVE's Shayla Reaves reports, this means construction on the arena can move forward.

There's an empty spot at Second and Main now where the Humana Building stood for years.

"A very significant day for Kentucky," Louisville Arena Authority Chairman Jim Host said.

Hundreds of people got up early on a Saturday morning to watch as 500 pounds of nitro glycerin brought the Humana building straight down into a pile of rubble. Afterwards, Patti Worley was a little shaken.

"It still just kind of goes through your body," Worley said. "It gave me chills."

A huge dust cloud rose from the ground after the blast, briefly blanketing the Clark Memorial Bridge.

"The guy next to us saved up for the one shot and he missed it," said Worley. "He was about to throw his camera!"

For anyone who doubted the arena would be built, there's no turning back now. "The ball is in motion," said Kevin Burt, another spectator.

In just two years, Louisville's new arena will replace the hole left by the Humana building.

Worley said he didn't mind getting up extra early on a weekend to watch the implosion. "It's not something you get to do very often," she said.

In just 12 seconds, Louisville's skyline changed, but it will be another two years before it changes again, when the downtown arena is set to be complete.

Now the next step is getting the final OK from the bank to build the arena where the former Humana building once stood.

"We've worked very hard to get to the point where Goldman Sachs can tell us we have the money in hand as far as the bond issue is concerned," Host told WAVE 3 News.

"Construction will begin shortly and 2010 here we come," Mayor Jerry Abramson said of the arena completion date.

WAVE-TV contributed this report.