Thursday, October 13, 2016

UPDATE: Broadway Bridge wreckage appears cleared

Posted By on Thu, Oct 13, 2016 at 9:14 AM

click to enlarge ALL CLEAR: No bridge wreckage is visible below where the steel arches of the old Broadway Bridge fell into the river after demolition Tuesday.
  • ALL CLEAR: No bridge wreckage is visible below where the steel arches of the old Broadway Bridge fell into the river after demolition Tuesday.

No official word yet, but the steel arch wreckage left in the Arkansas River navigation channel after the demolition Tuesday appears to have been cleared.

Debris below water obviously isn't visible. When I crossed the Main Street bridge this morning, no work appeared underway on the river, but it was raining.

The image above was taken about 9 a.m. from one of North Little Rock's webcams.

UPDATE: The Highway Department didn't announce until mid-afternoon that the last of the steel was cleared. It also said river traffic wouldn't resume until there'd been a Coast Guard inspection.

UPDATE: They'll be blowing up concrete arches at 1 p.m. Friday.

UPDATE III: Full release from AHTD on Friday's explosion:

As demolition of the U.S. Highway 70 (Broadway) Bridgeover the Arkansas River continues, the contractor has reached a point in the work where the remaining concrete arches on the north side of the river will be brought down using explosives, according to Arkansas State Highway and Transportation Department (AHTD) officials.

On Friday, October 14 th at approximately 1:00 p.m., AHTD Director Scott Bennett will “pushthe button” to ignite charges placed inside holes that have been drilled into the concretearches. The resulting detonation will pulverize the arches into manageable pieces and allow the contractor to easily remove the debris. The arches have been wrapped in a fabric to help minimize debris dispersal.

There is no time requirement related to debris removal; however there is a size requirement. Any debris left in the Arkansas River must be less than the size equivalent of a bowling ball. No metal reinforcing steel (rebar) will be allowed to remain in the water.

While this event is an unusual and very interesting occurrence, a 1,500-foot clear zone will be established to ensure safety. Members of the public that wish to watch the demolition process are encouraged to do so from the banks of the Little Rock side of the Arkansas River as well as the Pulaski County Junction Bridge (pedestrian bridge). Significant areas along the riverfront in North Little Rock (including the Dickey-Stephens Park parking lot) are within the clear zone and will not be available to spectators.

The Main Street Bridge will remain open to traffic; however the sidewalk on the west side of the bridge will be closed and access will be restricted to credentialed media and local officials only. Arkansas Highway Police will be on-hand to regulate access to the sidewalk as well as to ensure traffic continues to move across the bridge.

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