David Rose, spokesperson for ODOT’s District 10, said there are 12 approach spans on the West Virginia side of the Ohio River and contractor CJ Mahan are taking those out one by one.
As of yesterday, two approach spans had been brought down. The first approach span to drop was attached to the center span so workers will now go backwards from the center span to the road, taking out the remaining segments. A barge is docked alongside the West Virginia side of the Ohio River to carry away debris.
None of the approach span debris will go into the Ohio River though the center span will be dropped there with explosives at a later date to be announced. Rose did say a blasting plan has been approved by the US Coast Guard and US Army Corps of Engineers. As for how long this dismantling of the approach spans and lightening of the old bridge will take, Rose estimated around four to six weeks.
Rose added that it would probably take at least one week to set the explosives which will bring the center span down and into the Ohio River. ODOT then has only 24 hours to clear the channel for traffic.
Rose said in addition to bringing down the approach spans, workers are also dismantling the metal decking which is basically being rolled up “like a blanket” to get the bridge as light as possible.