Photos: Crews blow up Blanchette Bridge westbound

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by KMOV.com staff

KMOV.com

Posted on December 4, 2012 at 12:06 PM

Updated Thursday, Oct 24 at 6:07 AM

ST. CHARLES, Mo (KMOV.com) – There was quite an explosion in St. Charles on Tuesday as engineers blasted the remaining steels trusses of the westbound lanes of the Blanchette Bridge.

The interstate was shut down in both directions as workers blew up the rest of the west bound bridge superstructure at 10:24 a.m.

The first part of the bridge came crashing down on November 18. However, that was a Sunday when traffic was light. Tuesday, engineers brought down the remaining steel trusses right after the morning rush hour.

MoDOT says they’re doing it on a workday Because they can’t risk any delays.

“If they’re ready today on a Tuesday we don’t want to tell them no you have to wait for the weekend and then if the weather is bad you push them into the following weekend and so you have a lot of risk of having large delays,” said Engineer Tom Evers.

Cleaning up the debris after the blast is another challenge for workers, as the low river levels could prevent effective water assistance.

“As far as moving barges around and getting any traffic in there is going to be a little toughter because of the low river levels,” Evers said.

Despite the challenges, downtown businesses in St. Charles aren’t seeing much fallout from the project.

The Three Flags Business Center is on Fifth Street, the first St. Charles exit off the bridge. Managers at the Midwest Eye office tell say the bridge work is not hurting business.

“So far  things have been kind of quiet,” said Carolyn Jackson, an office manager. “Everybody’s talking about it of course but nobody’s said if its added any drive time or if its been a problem yet.”

MoDOT closed Interstate-70  in both directions from 10 a.m. to 11 a.m. between Highway 94 in St. Charles and Interstate 270 on the Missouri side.

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