Osage Bridge Demolition
TUSCUMBIA - It may have been early on a Tuesday morning, but Glenn Hendrix and his friends are standing on the side Missouri Route 70 with eager looks on their faces. Hendrix proudly states he's been at this spot since 7:15 am--it's now 8:30 am.
They are looking across a wide field at the old Osage River Bridge 50 yards away, where construction workers in bright orange vests walk in groups.
By now, Hendrix and his friends aren't alone. In fact, much of the city of Tuscumbia is surrounding them, facing the bridge.
They're all here to see one thing: A bridge explode, or more appropriately, demolished.
After a brief announcement from the Missouri Department of Transportation (MODOT) spokesperson, the explosives do their job and the old bridge crumbles in a cloud of smoke.
Hendrix said he's been driving across this bridge for nearly 28 years, but he's fine with its demolition.
"It's just it was getting so you know the concrete is falling off the bottom of it if you go underneath of it," Hendrix said. "There were chunks of concrete falling out of it."
Although he is retired and no longer has to worry about a commute to Jefferson City for work, he still said he was starting to get uneasy driving across the old bridge.
"It was getting to the point where it was pulling away from the pavement a couple of times. It was just rotting away. Sooner or later, it would have fell," he said.
These worries are echoed by MODOT.
The former Osage River Bridge was 77-years-old.
"Over the years concrete is going to deteriorate because of the chemicals we put down in the winter for moving the snow," Lynch said.
"That's just the natural way things happen."
But there will be no waiting period for Hendrix and his fellow Tuscumbians.
A new bridge has already been up and running next to the old one.