Part of old Jeremiah Morrow Bridge just won't budge

Posted at 7:44 AM, Apr 30, 2017
and last updated 2017-04-30 11:40:57-04

OREGONIA, Ohio -- For crews imploding the old Jeremiah Morrow Bridge, the third time was not the charm.

A blast at about 6:56 a.m. Sunday failed to bring down steel trusses that remained standing after two other blasts last weekend.

Watch it happen (or, uh, not happen) in the video player below:


Taxpayers won't be on the hook, though: ODOT didn't pay for the third attempt.

Ohio Department of Transportation spokesman Matt Bruning said the north end detached, but the south end is "bound up on itself." There will not be another blast. Bruning said ODOT would use a crane to take down the remaining section piece by piece.

Interstate 71, which was closed again for the demolition work, reopened at about 8:20 a.m. -- more than an hour ahead of schedule.

The crane work won't affect I-71 traffic, Bruning said.

Why do they have to close the highway?

Crews have been working to bring down the remaining steel trusses on the old southbound span.

During the first attempt on Sunday, April 23, a connection to one of the charges came loose. They're wired similar to Christmas lights, so one faulty connection stops the entire sequence.

One section remained standing, and another section only partially collapsed:


A few hours later, the demolition crew had reset the charges, and the still-standing span fell. However, the section that had partially collapsed didn't really budge.

"Because it was in close proximity to the newly built bridges -- so, they could really have gone out there and really blown it up, but it could have damaged the new bridges -- so they were being cautious in their approach," ODOT spokesman Brian Cunningham said.

The only safe method to bring down the rest was another implosion, Cunningham said.

Last weekend's closure of I-71 dragged out two hours longer than expected; ODOT said its contractor won't be penalized for that extra time.