"The logistics of it has been a challenge," said Mark Maniaci, construction manager for AMEC, an international engineering contractor with headquarters in the United Kingdom that is in charge of removing the hangar's skin.
After contractors finish with one section, they can deconstruct the scaffolding and reconstruct it for another section, while
simultaneously working on other sections.
"Everything's going on at the same time," Maniaci
Workers use pressurized water to clean the steel girders supporting the structure.
The contaminated water, as well as rainwater, is collected by a man-made dike on the floor and in a trench surrounding the hangar.
There it's pumped out, treated and tested, before it's ejected into Sunnyvale's sanitary system.
Only 41,000 gallons have been discharged so far, a pittance compared with the wastewater discharged by Moffett Field's
NASA Ames Research Center, Maniaci
"The guys would spend an hour trying to get over the windows," Maniaci
Eventually, the deconstruction crew decided they were comfortable being supported only by a harness.
"They had no fear working off the ropes," he
said the metal couldn't be recycled without severely weakening it, and 1.3 million pounds have already been shipped in airtight containers for burial at the Grassy Mountain landfill in Utah.