SUNRISE BEACH - The Missouri Department of Transportation initiated the first demolition phase of the 80 year-old Hurricane Deck Bridge at the Lake of the Ozarks Saturday morning. The first of three explosive blasts removed 740 feet of steel truss from the bridge.
Saturday's blast removed the north steel truss span. The bridge consists of three concrete girders and five steel girders. Only the steel truss spans, totalling 2180 feet, will be removed by the explosives.
The Missouri Department of Transportation hired contractor American Bridge Company, Incorporated and subcontractor Duane Houkom, Incorporated to blast the bridge. More than 31 pounds of explosives were used in the first blast. The explosives are linear shaped charges specifically designed to cut steel. The blast only took about 32 thousandths of a second to initiate, bringing the north steel truss span of the bridge down into the lake. Crews will take the steel from the water by crane and lift it onto a barge.
The Missouri State Highway Patrol temporarily closed Route 5 over the new Hurricane Deck Bridge and boat traffic was prohibited in a 1,500 foot radius. Officials also advised residents living around the lake to stay in their homes during the blast to ensure safety.
"Due to the proximity of the old bridge to the new bridge, it's pretty close, so there were a lot of precautions made to keep folks safe," said MoDOT Central District Engineer David Silvester.
Silvester said the demolition brought out mixed emotions.
"It's always a sad part of history to bring down an old structure, especially that's served so well for so long," he said. "There's many folks that do have a lot of sentimental memories. In September when we were out, there's a lot of folks who have been here for a long time that have know the old bridge and they were very moved to be able to see the old bridge and the new bridge in its state. It's exciting, but it's also said to bring down a structure like that."
The new Hurricane Deck Bridge opened in September and the total replacement project cost $32 million. The next blast is scheduled to take place in two weeks, and third blast will take place two weeks after. The second blast will remove the south steel truss span and the third will remove the center.