Bailing out the Ocean with a Bucket (SUPERBLOCK Demo Update)

To followup my recent post about the demolition of the remnants of the Fire Control Tower, I went down to the SUPERBLOCK Monday and Wednesday to take another look at the site and see the construction progress.  I’ve put in a few photos here to show you what they’ve done, what they’re doing, and the comical amount of work left.

To catch you up quick – the City of Long Beach is working to clear the SUPERBLOCK for use as the Live Site during the Quiksilver Pro, or as I like to call it Surfpocalypse.  The Live Site will be the outdoor venue open every day from 2PM (and earlier) – to 9PM during the competition.  There will be music and all sorts of XTREME sports, and even a beer tent.  But to get to the point, they’ve got to do a whole lot of work to clear the site of some hundred years of various construction projects – from hotels and amusement parks to World War II defenses.

My impressions?  Ha.  If the plan is as the map shows: to level the site all the way to the boardwalk, they have an awful lot of work left to do.  What may look like sand on a quick pass-by is actually a lot of concrete covered by a little sand.  The crew I saw yesterday was just two trucks – an excavator picking up chunks of concrete, and a front end loader with a jackhammer on the back.  That was it.

The excavator wasn’t exactly clearing the site either.  It’s role could best be described as “pick things up, put them down.”  It lifted chunks of concrete and sand, swiveled, then dumped that concrete into a new pile a few feet away.  There was no sign of a dump truck or any effort yet to clear any of the rubble.

Also remember, the deadline for clearing the site is not September 1st.  Judging by the scale of the live site, and the semi-permanent structures they plan to build, they will probably have to get to work by the middle of August.  That leaves around 15 days to excavate and remove unknown tons of concrete, and then level the site so it is suitable to be built on.

My recommendation?  The City of Long Beach may need to bring in a few more trucks, because two might not be able to do it even if they worked around the clock for the next month.  Here are a few shots I took while I was down there.



Quite a bit left that hasn’t even been touched.  Who knows how much concrete is buried under these dunes.  If you flip over to this 1950s era photo, you can see the site as it looked then. The perspective in this photo is a little off from the old shot, but you can get an idea from the yellow brick building in the middle of this shot.  The main Fire Control tower was around here.


Half of the two man team down at the site.  There’s one of the mounds of broken up concrete that they don’t seem to be moving anywhere.


This side shot helps show just how much is here and hasn’t even been touched yet.  Where’s all that sand going to go?


Pick up rock, put rock down.  This is going to take a while.

10 Replies to “Bailing out the Ocean with a Bucket (SUPERBLOCK Demo Update)”

  1. So they have to clear it, then raise it to the boardwalk level meaning build it up 10 feet or so? All entrances will be via boardwalk right?

    What are the semi-permanent structures? Everything I’ve read says that it’s all temporary…

  2. That’s just a guess going off the map quiksilver has put out. They show entrances on the boardwalk side, so that would have to mean they are raised. Could just be another case of “not to scale.”

    I consider the skate ramp and the BMX halfpipe to be “semi-permanent.” Those two structures specifically require a lot more than the afternoon it takes to put up a merch tent, and on the other side, take a lot longer to pull down.

  3. Shaun’s pumped for the surf competition, he just doesn’t see how the city will be able to finish in time. And given their track record, they suck!

  4. This is going to be a nightmare for the locals. If you live on Broadway don’t even bother moving your car. The city really dropped the ball on this one. The city is neither equipped to handle the amount of people nor do the citizens want any of this. Theofan should go, he is totally disconnected with the citizens. The City manager should be required to live here not in freeport.
    This is going to be a two-week exercise in Traffics nightmares,being miserable, seeing your favorite restaurant so crowed and so noisy, that you won’t even want to go there, angry people all over town, and probably a crime or two.

  5. Are you kidding? The City won’t see a Dime from this Calamity,The only ones to profit from this farce will be, The Allegria Hotel, who will be tying up the rest of the neighborhood, that they don’t tie up already, and blocking traffic and illegally reserving parking spaces, and double parking . And the Watering Holes on the West end like Minnesota’s, and Pops in Island Park, where the drunks will overflow into the streets.
    How will the City profit? Our streets will be impossible to walk on, our roads will be tied up and it’s going to be impossible for us residents to get into any of our local restaurants.
    I think that the best thing to do is to “GET OUT OF TOWN”
    And one more thing, do you remember the beach riots on Memorial Day. Well welcome to Deja Vu , all over again, along with Beer and Wine bottles all over the place. And drunks fighting in droves. These are the things that we can expect. …Don’t expect a Block Party

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