Cut Braces Off Old Bridge

A worker from Marschel Wrecking, LLC, Fenton, the company contracted to demolish the old Highway 47 bridge at Washington, begins cutting cross bracing to allow the vertical clearance for the heavy equipment needed to begin removing the asphalt bridge decking. An explosive demolition of the remaining structure is planned for mid-to-late March.    Missourian Photo.

Tentative plans call for a Thursday, April 4, implosion of the old Highway 47 bridge over the Missouri River.

Washington City Administrator Darren Lamb said city officials were told Tuesday that demolition will be at 9:30 a.m. that day, depending on a number of factors. 

The bridge will be taken down by Marschel Wrecking, LLC, Fenton. Plans call for the entire 2,500-foot-long bridge span to be taken down with one blast.

A pre blast meeting was held Tuesday with representatives from Missouri Department of Transportation (MoDOT), Marschel Wrecking, the city of Washington, the parks department and Washington fire department.

According to Lamb, there are several factors that have to be considered up to the date of the implosion, including precipitation amounts. 

The city is tentatively planning a public viewing at the Washington Riverfront to the west of the bridge. 

Although the new bridge will be between the old bridge and viewing area, the public will still be able to see the demolition, Lamb noted.

The Missouri Department of Transportation (MoDOT) is planning to broadcast the implosion live online.

Plans also call for a safety perimeter of 1,500 feet in radius to be enforced by the Washington police, Franklin County sheriff’s deputies and the Missouri Highway Patrol.

In addition to restrictions on land, the Missouri River will be closed to barge and other boat traffic for about 48 hours before, during and after the bridge demolition. The new bridge also will be closed briefly during the blast.

Since the new bridge opened in December, crews with Marschel Wrecking have been removing salvageable pieces before it is imploded into the river.

Following the implosion bridge pieces will be removed from the river.

There will be a dive inspector to ensure that all of the bridge pieces are removed.

Once that work is complete a river dike taken out during construction of the new bridge must be replaced.

After the old bridge is taken down, paths, walking paths and parking planned for below the bridge will be opened.