NEW ORLEANS -- The Grand Palace Hotel was brought down by a battery of explosive charges after weeks of preparation.
Interstate-10 has reopened going both east and westbound, but S. Claiborne from Canal to Cleveland will remain closed Sunday.
Spectors gathered early to get view of the implosion, even Mayor Mitch Landrieu was on hand,
"I thought it was cool," said Landrieu as the dust from the razed hotel was still in the air. "It was really exciting to watch."
Landrieu added that it appeared the implosion went well, as early indicators showed no damage to to adjacent areas.
Landrieu saw the destruction of the hotel that had long been an eyesore on the Central Business District as the symbolic beginning of the billion-dollar University Medical Center. "Tearing down an old structure to give way for something new, it's a symbol of building the city back."
While the clean up and inspections go on, officials closed Interstate-10 in both directions between the Orleans Avenue Exit and the Pontchartrain Expressway (to the Slidell exit) at 7 a.m. Westbound traffic is forced to exit at Orleans Ave., and eastbound traffic is forced to exit at Poydras.
The hotel was originally called the Claiborne Towers and constructed in 1950 for $10 million. When it was finished, it was the city's largest apartment complex.
For additional information regarding road closures, call 1-855-592-8146.