ST. CHARLES, Mo (KMOV.com) -- One and a half-million pounds of steel plunged into the Missouri River Sunday morning as MoDOT blasted a section of the Blanchette Bridge.
The contractor now has less than 24 hours to get all that steel out of the river. Almost as soon as the steel hit the water, crews started the cleanup effort.
Coast Guard regulations require every piece to be out of the river within 48 hours. As of Monday evening, crews are halfway there with a Tuesday morning deadline quickly approaching.
MoDOT contractors are using heavy moving equipment to pick up the pieces, each one of which is marked to ensure that nothing is left behind
“The Coast Guard doesn’t want an entity in the river for any longer of a time than it needs to be there,” said MoDOT engineer Tom Evers. “It can change the river flow depending on what’s going on, so we want to make sure the steel isn’t changing what the river does naturally.”
There’s another blast coming after the first of December. It will involve much more steel in the water and it will be right in the middle of the channel, so an even bigger cleanup operation is coming with the second blast.