Tuesday, October 11, 2005

Workers Blast Bridge Segment in S.C. River

Workers Blast Bridge Segment at Charleston, S.C., Into River; Futuristic New Span Replaced It
Workers on Tuesday used explosives to send a 500 foot segment of an aging bridge plunging into the water, one of two spans replaced by the futuristic Ravenel Bridge, the longest one of its kind in North America.
The 39 year old Silas Pearman Bridge and parallel 76 year old Grace Memorial Bridge closed in July when the eight lane Ravenel Bridge opened becoming the longest cable stayed bridge on the continent.The two old bridges linking Charleston and Mount Pleasant over the Cooper River were outdated and the Grace, narrow and rickety, were considered structurally unsound.Workers used 2,250 pounds of explosives to bring down a 500-ton section of the Pearman Bridge.It fell with a thunderous roar and a giant plume of smoke. Then a barge with an orange crane moved in retrieve the 11 pieces of the superstructure that fell into the water.By the end of the year, the superstructure of both old bridges is expected to be down, leaving only underwater foundations to remove. The $60 million demolition project is scheduled to be finished in 2007.


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