Last bridge implosion completed
April 05, 2013, 7:20 am by
|The remaining concrete piers in Lake Marble Falls that used to support the old US 281 bridge were demolished with explosives Friday afternoon.
TxDOT contractors imploded two remaining piers of the old US 281 bridge at 2:03 pm Friday.
North-south traffic on the highway, heavy with weekend travellers, was blocked about eight minutes resulting in a heavy backup north in both directions and on RR 2147.
There were no immediate reports of damage to surrounding structures as occurred when the old bridge itself was imploded March 17, raining debris on nearby buildings, severing communications lines, and snarling traffic for more than two hours.
A few dozen onlookers gathered at Lakeside park and construction workers and some residents nearby watched the removal of the last vestiges of the old bridge.
When the blast was announced with a sharp bang, a geyser of water erupted from Lake Marble Falls and soared higher than the replacement span now carrying vehicles over the water. It appeared hat most of the old piers had been removed above the surface of the lake with explosive charges placed on what remained below.
Now that the old bridge has been removed, construction may begin on the second span of the new structure.
Onlookers on land or in the water were told to stay back at least 200 feet, according to the blast plan. In the first implosion, onlookers were required to stay back 1,000 feet.TxDOT, which oversees the project, had said the second blast would be less of an interruption than the first, with traffic on the lake and on the bridge expected to be stopped for five to ten minutes.It was supposed to only be stopped for about 20 minutes during the first blast, but that ended up lasting more than an hour as crews assessed damage.Last week, general contractor for the bridge project Archer Western submitted a revised blast plan to implode the piers to TxDOT.
For the full story, see updates here and Tuesday's Highlander.