Crews blast section of Blanchette Bridge

6:56 PM, Nov 18, 2012   |    comments
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Courtesy: MoDOT

St. Charles, Mo. (KSDK) -- Cleanup is under way in St. Charles after crews blasted part of the steel truss on the westbound Blanchette Bridge.

1.5 million pounds of steel from bridge dropped into the Missouri River.

"We've got to take a lot of steel down in a short amount of time. This was just the most efficient way to do it," says MoDot Area Engineer Tom Evers.

He says crews are on a tight schedule.

"They have 48 hours to take out this span. And the next blast, they'll have a shorter amount of time because they're in the navigation channel. So they'll have 24 hours to take that one out."

Dozens stood on a hill at the Heart of St. Charles Banquet Center to watch this piece of St. Charles history being made.

"Many years ago, probably about 15 or 16 years ago, it was important for my son to see the 115 bridge being blown up," says Maureen Bouxsein. "That was part of history. And now I have my granddaughters out here to see this bridge being blown up."

"It's not something you see every day," adds Ruth Muncaster. "We've crossed this bridge many many times and it's kind of like a landmark in the area."

Not everyone was blown away.

"You're used to movies. It wasn't the special effects you see in the theaters," says Jim Warner.

The people inside for an Antique Glass show were glad there wasn't more. Show chairman Betty Buersmeyer says she was concerned because had the blast knocked any of the pieces down, it could have been costly.

"...extremely. To the people who own it. But also because it's irreplaceable. You can't go out and make an antique. Once a piece is broken, it's gone."

Tom Evers says demolition will continue through December, and the rebuilding begins in 2013.



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