PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – The century-old Hulton Bridge that connects Freeport Road to Oakmont was demolished Tuesday morning.
Just before 10 a.m. the 107-year-old bridge was imploded and four sections fell into the Allegheny River.
It took 150 pounds of dynamite and 51 charges to take the bridge down.
A 1,000-foot safety radius was in place ahead of the implosion. Several road closures in the area were in effect, including Route 28 being shut down in both directions.
However, Route 28 reopened within minutes of the implosion.
Oakmont Mayor Bob Fescemyer watched the bridge come down with a heavy heart.
“It was bittersweet. That bridge has been a part of my life and I know we needed a new bridge, the old bridge was antiquated and it just couldn’t do the job that needed to be done,” he said.
RAW VIDEO: WATCH Hulton Bridge Implosion From Different Angles:
As for how the implosion went?
“Very successful event. Obviously, any time you can pull off an implosion like this ahead of time, very successful,” PennDOT District 11 Executive Dan Cessna said.
KDKA’s John Shumway Reports:
Almost immediately, traffic started flowing again. The new bridge was inspected for damage and reopened within an hour. The bridge did not suffer any structural damage, but a couple sections will need to be repainted due to some shrapnel scratches.
“The bridge is designed to withstand an impact,” said Cessna. “From the beginning, this bridge was developed knowing the old bridge would be imploded this way so that’s factored into it’s design.”
VIDEO: Different Angle From NewsRadio 1020 KDKA’s James Garrity:
Meanwhile, barges are already working to clear the downed bridge.
“They will be used to load on some of the debris and then obviously, pull a lot of the debris off to the sides, where they’ll have more time to dispose of it over the coming weeks,” Cessna said.
Crews will have 72 hours to clear the waterway.
Additionally, there were some concerns about an eagle nesting in a nearby tree. Just before the implosion, the eagle took off and made its way up river.
Here is what the implosion looked like from the Hays Bald Eagle Camera:
The implosion clears the way for completion of the final lane on the new bridge going into Oakmont.
Before today’s implosion, PennDOT District 11 Executive Dan Cessna joined the “KDKA Morning News” live from Oakmont Bakery to talk about the demolition of the Hulton Bridge and the traffic restrictions.