Explosives drop steel trestle Missouri River bridge into the water along I-70 while onlookers watch
ROCHEPORT, Mo. (AP) — Onlookers online and on the banks of the Missouri River had to wait more than an hour to watch officials use explosives to drop a historic steel trestle bridge into the river that for years carried cars across the waterway along Interstate 70.
The blast just southeast of Rocheport, Missouri, which is about 115 miles (185.07 kilometers) east of Kansas City, was delayed by fog Sunday morning. The demolition that was scheduled for 7:30 a.m. finally happened shortly before 9 a.m. after the view was clear.
A small crowd of onlookers gathered along the banks of the river to watch the destruction with some of their heads temporarily blocking the livestream the Missouri Department of Transportation operated. Many others logged on from across the country to watch online. The feed switched to a wide shot that showed the entire bridge before the explosives were triggered.
The state said crews will work to remove the roughly 1,100-foot-long (335-meter-long) bridge from the river within 24 hours to clear the channel for boat and barge traffic.
Cars along Interstate 70 were already rerouted onto a new westbound bridge earlier this summer, although the busy highway was temporarily blocked off during Sunday’s demolition. A new $220 million bridge is scheduled to be completed by December 2024.
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