PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – Part of the 31st Street Bridge was imploded Thursday morning, which sent debris crashing into the Allegheny River.
Traffic on Route 28 was stopped briefly during the demolition, which is part of the ongoing reconstruction project.
The bridge got its origin in the mid part of the 1800s. That first bridge was washed away in a flood, but was rebuilt and later burned down.
Now, 84 years after the first stone was laid to build the nearly half-mile structure, it was brought down in the blink of an eye.
“My skin rippled,” Doug Croft said.
Many people gathered in the Troy Hill Community Garden to watch the show.
“It was pretty powerful. We’re kayakers, so we spend a lot of time in that back channel so we’ve seen it in many different stages,” Cathy Croft said.
At 10 p.m., Route 28 was shut down and a 1,000-foot radius was secured for safety. Today’s explosion also served as a teaching tool for several engineering students.
“It’s actually a great experience because here we get to see firsthand all the guys that do the hard work. Taking the classes and courses, these are the professionals out here and being able to experience it is awesome,” Brad Allen said.
PennDOT said the demo went as planned and the spectators enjoyed the show.
“I love seeing stuff go boom,” Allen said.
Watch the raw video of the implosion from NewsChopper 2: