PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – A misty white blanket of fog surrounded the Masontown Bridge Saturday morning.
Crews waited patiently, making last-minute adjustments before it was safe enough for the first big blast.
And Route 21 was closed to traffic as workers prepared to demolish the 87-year-old bridge.
Then, 200 pounds of explosives sliced through tons of nearly century old steel. It happened only 10 feet away from the brand new bridge right next to it.
Watch Raw Video of the bridge implosion:
“I think one of the things in the past has been how many feet and miles and whatever you can get away from an explosive, and as this is being perfected more and more each day, we’re getting down to feet and inches,” said Albert Godfrey, the manager of Demtech.
The span, which connects Fayette and Greene counties, was built in 1925, giving generations of local families quite a few stories to tell.
“Mostly what we remember is the toll bridge years ago. It was I think a nickel to cross and a quarter a car,” said Stanley Vorzik, a neighbor.
In the past few months, they’ve watched construction on the new bridge, about half of which is complete.
“It will eventually be four lanes wide,” said Bill Kovach, of PennDOT. “We have two lanes built now with traffic running on those two lanes, and once the old bridge is demolished, then the other two lanes will be built.”
After the implosion, workers in the water retrieved the pieces from the Mon River, loading them up for a trip to the recycling plant.
KDKA’s Kym Gable Reports:
“Based on everything we see right now, it appears to be a very successful blast,” said Kovach.
The new bridge costs about $50 million to build.