Archive for Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Next bridge blast to make a splash

The next section of the Kansas River bridge scheduled for blasting is over the water. The blast will take place next Tuesday.

December 1, 2009


The Kansas Turnpike Authority’s next bridge blast will be bigger, louder and, yes, wetter.

A 333-foot-long stretch of support steel for an original bridge over the Kansas River is among several sections set for blasting at 10 a.m. Dec. 8.

The single section — weighing more than 300 tons — will be expected to draw much of the attention, as it will be split into four pieces by directional explosives and dropped with a splash into the river below.

While earlier blasts have dropped steel onto temporary extensions of the river bank, next week’s event will feature more light, smoke and force — all to cut bridge pieces small enough to be easily dragged from the river.

“There will be a lot more fireworks,” said Rex Fleming, the turnpike’s project engineer for construction of new bridges and related work at the edge of Lawrence.

In all, the Dec. 8 blast will remove more than 1,200 feet of steel that had supported a bridge for traffic heading east on the turnpike for more than 50 years. Remaining steel for the former westbound bridge is scheduled to be dropped at 10 a.m. Dec. 15.


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