Activating 75 lbs of controlled explosive devices, the Rhode Island Department of Transportation completed the first phase of demolition on a dated, 66-year-old
Activating 75 lbs of controlled explosive devices, the Rhode Island Department of Transportation completed the first phase of demolition on a dated, 66-year-old trestle steel bridge over the Narragansett Bay. Observers of the April 18 event saw past and future bridge construction on display as the 1,100-ft. center span plunged 135 ft. Significant pavement surface had already been removed from the 240-ft.-high bridge, and cuts had been made in the girders to ensure destruction. The felling of the center span, as shown in this sequence from RIDOT, revealed the Jamestown-Verrazzano Bridge, which upon its 1992 opening was one of the northeast’s first segmental installations. Since then, DOTs across the country have increasingly turned to segmental concrete methods for bridge construction as a much more economical alternative to steel girder or trestle designs. The second of three major controlled explosions to destroy the old bridge is expected to take place before Memorial Day and will see the demolition of about 2,200 ft. of deck trusses and girder spans on either side of what was removed in phase one. After that, the central supporting piers will be removed during a final blast.