Archive for Sunday, November 15, 2009

Section of the Turnpike bridge comes down with a concussion and then a cloud of dust

Watch the detonation of the Kansas River bridge from several perspectives.

November 15, 2009, 11:10 a.m. Updated November 15, 2009, 3:24 p.m.


Tracking the boom

People around the area have reported hearing today's explosion from considerable distances from the bridge. Did you? Let us know where you were if so, and we'll map the responses to see how far the sound traveled.

Google Map

How far could the blast be heard?

View Turnpike bridge demolition in a larger map

Two hundred fifty-one feet down, another 251 feet to go.

Today’s successful dropping of a 250-ton section of original Kansas River bridge along the Kansas Turnpike now has officials turning their attention to 10 a.m. Thursday, the anticipated time for detonating another 6 pounds of explosives to cut through the rusted steel structure.

“This went great,” said Rex Fleming, the turnpike’s project engineer, at the blast site Sunday afternoon. “We’re ready to do it again.”

More than 150 onlookers crowded into parking lots, under shelters and up against trees Sunday in Burcham Park to observe the first bridge blast. It’s all part of an ongoing $130 million project for the Kansas Turnpike Authority, which is replacing its 55-year-old river bridges, overhauling two Lawrence interchanges and making other upgrades through the end of 2011.

Jeremiah Seibel, 11, watched the blast with his mom, dad and 4-year-old brother. He said the explosion didn’t differ all that much from the firecrackers he’d seen obliterate plastic cups.

“It’s just bigger,” he said. “I just knew it’d be awesome.”

Officials moved up today's scheduled blast time in anticipation of a break in the rainy weather arriving in the Lawrence area about noon. The first drops of rain started dotting Lawrence pavement about 7:30 a.m. today, and a few hours later were soaking the entire town — including the 250 tons of steel set to be dropped by detonation. The decision came just before 11 a.m., as officials observed a break in Emporia. The new 12:15 p.m. time was set at 11:50 a.m.

Officials had been expecting rain all along. The only question was how much rain would come, and whether a break would arrive.

The turnpike’s lanes needed to be dry enough to keep pavement safe for traffic to slow down during “rolling roadblocks” led by the Kansas Highway Patrol on either side of Lawrence as blast time approached.

The explosion left no debris on the new Turnpike bridge. Turnpike traffic was stopped in both directions for the explosion. Soon after, traffic resumed.


labmonkey 8 years, 4 months ago

Is the loud commercial that hijacks your computer necessary?

chargdup 8 years, 4 months ago

Horrendous. I wanted to watch this, but the ads and the music made me leave.

Hop2It 8 years, 4 months ago

And channel 6 is showing.....a replay of KU game.

Jeanne Cunningham 8 years, 4 months ago

So, will there be video at least?

If so, when/where?

DennisAnderson 8 years, 4 months ago

Our photographers are returning from the scene. We will soon have video and photos. Dennis Anderson Managing Editor

nnelson 8 years, 4 months ago

Hi everyone - we'll have plenty of video and photos up shortly. Thanks for sticking around.

Nick Nelson Web Producer

Kendall Simmons 8 years, 4 months ago

I want to watch the unwatchable video! (At least we heard the explosion live.)

ClaroAtaxia 8 years, 4 months ago

LJ-World is horrible at providing video/audio when it is pertinent. Hell, they can't even embed Google Maps when discussing a location/area. So much potential, so little effort.

Hop2It 8 years, 4 months ago

So...who watches a replay of KU game the day after? Are there that many Nebraska fans in town?

vinividivici 8 years, 4 months ago

I could watch the live video just fine. And the audio was low quality, but not THAT bad.

Bladerunner 8 years, 4 months ago

Very anticlimactic. I am sooooo very glad I didn't go there to watch it in person. And I second Militants wise words.

KSManimal 8 years, 4 months ago

Good show, but the reporter needs a physics lesson.

The crowd didn't "hear the blast, then see the bridge drop". They "saw the bridge drop, then heard the blast".

Dateable_Shelter_Dude 8 years, 4 months ago

tumbilweed (Anonymous) says…

Stupid commenters once again complaining that the world isn't perfect to their specifications.

Dateable_Shelter_Dude says…

Stupid tumbilweed once again complaining that the world isn't perfect to their specifications.

ClaroAtaxia 8 years, 4 months ago

ROFL, I love how there is a Google Map, although not that useful in this particular article. It's a start!

bearded_gnome 8 years, 4 months ago

was actually observed at 1213hrs, north lawrence standard time. sounded pretty cool.

now, can we apply the same forces to: th drunk/drug shelter downtown?

yeah, why didn't both sections go at once?

Multi, love the potroast image, you got that right! just do it, get 'er done, no glitz, no glory...

personally, I wonder why they don't take the downed section, cut it up, and sell suveniers. plus, they could've sold seating at the blast site!

like fireworks blowing up in a cup, only bigger! that kid's got a future.

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