Washington police corralled about 15 spectators in the blast zone Thursday who were attempting to get a better view of the demolition of the Highway 47 bridge.
Detective Sgt. Steve Sitzes said those people were turned away from the blast zone — the area within a 1,500-foot radius of the blast.
“There were no major incidents but there were numerous people trying to sneak into the inner perimeter through side streets at Burnside and Fulton,” he said. “There were 15 or so caught and escorted off.”
If anyone was seen within the blast zone, the demolition crew would not have detonated the charges until after the people left the area.
Police were posted around the perimeter that included Third Street from Boone Street to Washington Avenue, Boone Street north to Missouri Avenue, Washington Avenue north to River Pilot Point and the Rotary Riverfront Trail 1,500 feet to the east and west of the bridge, including the railroad right of way and tracks.
According to Sitzes, there was heavy traffic in the downtown area.
“It dispersed slowly but other than when people were leaving, there were no accidents,” he said.
Sitzes warned anyone who wants to watch the bridge pieces being removed from the Missouri River to steer clear of the east side of the Rotary Riverfront Trail that is closed while work is still underway.
He said people may access the west side where there are bleachers and a picnic table as a designated viewing area.
“The east side is still closed. It is a construction area,” Sitzes said. “Anyone trespassing can be arrested or cited in that area.”
Officials estimated thousands of people watching the bridge demolition conducted by Marschel Wrecking, LLC, Fenton.
In addition to Washington police, Franklin County deputies also were near the blast zone assisting with security.