Archive for Friday, December 18, 2009

Next Kansas Turnpike bridge blast set for Monday morning

December 18, 2009


Another day, another blast with high-intensity, copper-encased, steel-cutting directional explosives.

The Kansas Turnpike Authority plans to drop another hunk of metal from one of its former Kansas River bridges at 10 a.m. Monday. The piece will be along the east side of the river, away from steel that remains submerged after a blast dropped about 250 tons of the metal into the river a week ago.

The detonation will be the fourth such explosive event in recent weeks, as crews continue to dismantle two original bridges, each more than 50 years old.

The bridges are being removed to make way for construction of a new bridge, this one to carry traffic heading east on the turnpike. The project’s first new bridge — to carry traffic heading west — already is built and open, and is temporarily carrying traffic in both directions.

Officials expect Monday blast to create minor delays on the turnpike, as the Kansas Highway Patrol conducts “rolling roadblocks” to slow traffic and clear the area as blast time approaches.

The work is part of an ongoing $130 million overhaul and reconstruction of bridges, interchanges and other features along the turnpike as it passes along and through the northern edge of Lawrence.


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