Similar blasts expected to occur over the next few weeks
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (July 25, 2013) – A 700-foot section of the old US 421 Milton-Madison Bridge was blasted Tuesday into the Ohio River using controlled explosives.
The demolition took place shortly after 9 a.m. The remainder of the 2,427-foot-bridge will be brought down with a series of similar span blasts expected to occur over the next few weeks. The Milton-Madison Bridge carries US 421 across the Ohio River connecting Milton, Ky., and Madison, Ind.
Following a safety inspection, the new bridge, which sits 15 feet downstream from the old bridge, was reopened to traffic at approximately 10:30 a.m.
Video of the blast can be seen here and is available for download at the link below.
Pieces of the truss, which landed in about 24 feet of water, are being retrieved and placed on barges. From there, they will be taken to the Milton, Ky., shore for further dismantling before eventually being sold for scrap. Divers are on call to ensure all pieces are removed from the river. In coordination with the U.S. Coast Guard, the Ohio River will remain closed for 24 hours while the old span is retrieved.
Using many small explosive charges placed at critical locations on the bridge, subcontractor Advanced Explosives Demolition Inc. (AED) detonated the charges in intervals to control the direction of fall.
The 1929 Milton-Madison Bridge will be demolished in a series of three or four blasts about seven days apart over the next few weeks. The public will be notified prior to each blast.
Once the old truss is completely removed, the original piers will be widened to accommodate the new bridge. The final step comes later this year, when the new 2,427-foot-long bridge will be slid onto the renovated original piers. The bridge is expected to close for about a week while the slide and approach connections are completed.
The Milton-Madison Bridge Project – a joint effort between the INDOT and KYTC – has received numerous awards. It was named one of the top 10 bridge projects in the country by Roads and Bridges Magazine, received a2012 Best of What’s New Award from Popular Science magazine and received several state and national engineering awards for innovation. For more information, visit www.MiltonMadisonBridge.com.