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Bridge Refuses to Yield to Demolition

Friday, January 13, 2017

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At a time when many are worried about the condition of American bridges, it’s reassuring to see that some spans, like California’s Antlers Bridge, refuse to fall—even under controlled demolition.

The 74-year-old bridge, in Shasta County, CA, was scheduled to come down Tuesday (Jan. 10), now that a replacement has been built to carry I-5 traffic across Shasta Lake. Under the force of some 700 pounds of explosives, part of the bridge did fall—and part simply wouldn’t.

Weather a Factor?

As reports, Caltrans and Okalahoma-based Dykon Blasting attempted the demolition, but one south span remained standing when the dust settled. Some reports indicated that rainy weather on Tuesday morning may have played a role in the partial failure.

“It went fairly well for the most part, not quite as expected, but most of the spans are down,” Steve Harvey, area construction manager for Caltrans, told the Record Searchlight.

Initially, a new attempt to bring down the stubborn span was reportedly scheduled for Thursday (Jan. 12), but later reports indicate that Caltrans will attempt to finish the job Saturday (Jan. 14).

Could Be Worse

The Antlers ordeal, while surely frustrating to crews, wasn’t nearly the headache that the attempted demolition of the Broadway Bridge, in Little Rock, AR, was in October. That bridge remained fully standing when the smoke cleared, and it ended up taking five more hours and eight more tries to get it down.


Tagged categories: Bridges; Caltrans; Contractors; Demolition; North America; Program/Project Management

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