Shelton bank vault presented a real challenge

One of the most difficult aspects of preparing the 900 Bridgeport Ave. site for the new Stop & Shop gas station in Shelton was demolishing the old bank vault in the former Wachovia Bank branch.

Bank vaults are built to withstand almost anything — and the one in Shelton was no exception.

(Scroll down to view photos of the process of demolishing the bank vault; photos taken by Brad Durrell)

Workers from Waterbury Wrecking LLC, the company hired to demolish the 9,900-square-foot building, said they had never encountered anything like it despite years in the business.

It appeared to take days to tear apart the vault, with the help of a powerful excavator and other equipment. The one-story-high vault structure was about 12-feet by 20-feet in size.

Workers said the concrete outer shell not only was reinforced by numerous pieces of steel rebar (reinforced steel), but the concrete itself had been mixed with steel shavings to make it hard to penetrate.

Toward the end of the demo process, what was left looked more like an art sculpture than the inner parts of a bank vault.

Eventually, crews were successful and the vault was taken apart and all remnants removed.

Since then, construction crews have moved forward with installing underground fuel tanks and putting up the steel frame for the gas station’s overhead canopy.

The 10-pump gas station is being built between Stop & Shop and the Burger King in the Shelton Square shopping center.