An Ohio bridge has been demolished after a fiery, controlled explosion brought down the final section of the old Madison-Milton on Thursday. It was the last 600-foot section of the 84-year-old span connecting Madison, Ind., and Milton, Ky., with a new adjacent one opening.
Recreational boaters were required to stay 1,000 feet from the bridge during the blast and a no-fly zone of 2,000 feet was put into effect.
The old bridge’s piers remain standing and will be reinforced and widened at the top before a new superstructure is put into place. The new 40-foot-wide bridge on the old piers will be twice the size of the old span.
The new superstructure is currently resting on temporary piers downstream from the old bridge. Crews will pull pieces of the truss of the demolished bridge from the river, dismantle them and sell them for scrap. The Indiana Department of Transportation and Kentucky Transportation Cabinet are working together on the bridge replacement.
The former public highway bridge was closed to traffic in 2009 after the Ohio department of transportation found the joints of the bridge were failing.
Earlier this year, the Ohio Fort Steuben Bridge came down in a matter of seconds following a series of small blasts after it too was closed by officials because of failing joints.
“Basically what we’re doing is just cutting the steel. We’re using almost like a remote torch but we’ll be 500 feet away when we detonate it,” Doug Loizeaux, Controlled Demolition Inc., said after the Fort Steuben blast.
Similar to the old Madison-Milton bridge, the 83-year-old Fort Steuben bridge was one of four similar bridges built across the Ohio River in 1929 and had wire cables suspending its 1,255-foot span.