Though the Ohio Department of Transportation has not set the date, officials have confirmed they received the first set of demolition plans from a subcontractor but they did not contain any sequencing of explosives so they have been sent back for additions. Once the final plans are approved, ODOT said the demolition could start within two weeks of the plan being approved.
According to Steve Williams, district construction engineer for ODOT, the demolition will take place in stages. Those spectators wanting to see the dinosaur fall after one dramatic sequence of charges will be disappointed.
Williams said workers will first remove decking and sidewalk to get the structure as light as possible until not much is left but the metal skeleton of the bridge. Then, once the plan is approved and a permit is granted by the United States Coast Guard, a charge will be detonated at the center of the bridge, dropping the center into the Ohio River. ODOT will then have around 24 hours to clear the channel for barge traffic. Then, possibly two weeks later, a series of charges will be used to take down the cantilever and backspans which is basically what’s left on both sides of the river.
During any detonation of explosive charges, traffic will be stopped on the new Bridge of Honor. Williams added the reason for all these approval processes regarding the demolition plans is to protect the new structure and not put it in any structural jeopardy. Williams added that ODOT has asked for a “protection plan” in the detonation plan to protect the new bridge from shrapnel, etc.
Williams said the contractor handling the explosives is DemTech Services which has been featured on The Discovery Channel.