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ODOT may look to other options for felling section of old Jeremiah Morrow Bridge

Fifth blast attempt may have helped
ODOT may look to other options for felling section of old Jeremiah Morrow Bridge
Posted at 2:57 PM, May 21, 2017

OREGONIA, Ohio -- Yet another blast Sunday morning failed to fell a section of the old Jeremiah Morrow Bridge that's remained upright ever since a demolition team went to work on it last month.

There's a bright spot, though: The latest blast might have dropped the steel enough that workers can look at other options to bring it down, according to Ohio Department of Transportation spokesman Matt Bruning.

"ODOT will work closely with the contractor to ensure they create a plan, at no additional cost to taxpayers, to quickly and safely complete the job they were hired to do," Bruning said in a statement.

Sunday was the fourth time Interstate 71 closed and the fifth time a demolition team tried to implode the bridge. They tried twice the first day, when a connection came loose and some of the charges didn't detonate.

Watch the initial blast below:

 

The problem is a section that's bound up on itself, Bruning said. The steel is lodged in place and won't collapse to the ground, leaving it precariously half-upright.

For the most part, three other sections fell as expected.

 

The proximity of the old bridge to a new bridge makes the job tougher: Crews can't use as powerful of explosives as they might like, for fear of damaging the new span.

"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," another ODOT spokesman, Brian Cunningham, previously told WCPO.

The new bridge opened last November. Construction of the $88.1 million bridge took six years. It is the tallest bridge in Ohio and designed to last 100 years, officials previously said.