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Crew conducts a blast test at the Bills' stadium site

Workers conducted a test blast on Friday afternoon. Crews sounded horns, signaling a momentary close to Abbott Road, prior to the blast.

ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. — If you live or work in around the Buffalo Bills stadium project, you may have heard a large boom.

Workers conducted a test blast on Friday afternoon. Crews sounded horns, signaling a momentary close to Abbott Road, prior to the blast.

A few Bills fans came to watch the blast but were disappointed it wasn't bigger. 

"I just like explosions. Wanted to see what it's all about," said Cy, a young Bills fan. 

Orchard Park Police Chief Patrick Fitzgerald told 2 On Your Side the expectation was that it would be controlled and anti-climactic. 

"When the community hears a blasting is going to take place, a lot of people in their minds are thinking something, and anxiety levels go up, and people think it's going to be something more than what it probably is," Fitzgerald said.

Fitzgerald went on to add that the blast would sound more like a "roll of thunder" and that someone not expecting it may not even notice it. 

As Fitzgerald predicted, anti-climactic is exactly what the explosion was. The ground rumbled for a couple seconds, ground shifted slightly across from One Bills Drive, and then it ceased. The test was done, and the roads opened back up.

2 On Your Side also had the chance to catch up with Dan Langan, an operating engineer for Local 17 working at the site.

"We're just getting into something we can't get through," Langan said.

Langan explained that the crew blasted a 75-foot-by-75-foot area, attempting to go 35 feet deep. Friday's blast got them to 20 feet.

Langan went on to talk about the pride it would bring him to work on the Bills' stadium, a project, in fact, that has not happened in over 50 years. The Bills played at War Memorial from 1960-1972 before moving into what is now Highmark Stadium.

"It's definitely something to be proud of to get out here and break ground on it and see the plans," Langan said. 

The blasting will last about five weeks, with one day of blasting, followed by one day of cleanup. Blasting will be weather dependent each day. 

Much of the material from the blasting, such as rocks, will be recycled and used in other phases of the project.

The stadium should be done by the 2026 season, but much more hard work is expected to take place before that is done.

"It's our first blast, it's pretty much a test blast for the future," Langan said. "There's going to be quite a few of them." 

The blast not being more theatrical was a relief for officials and residents.

***Please be advised*** The New Buffalo Bills Stadium Project will be conducting a test blast on Friday June 23rd in the...

Posted by Town of Orchard Park Police Department on Thursday, June 22, 2023

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