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story.lead_photo.caption The Broadway Bridge arch falls into the Arkansas River after it was tugged down by cables attached to a barge Tuesday afternoon. - Photo by Austin Cannon

5:25 p.m. update: Explosives worked according to plan, bridge collapsed onto itself

The explosives and cuts in the Broadway Bridge all functioned properly during Tuesday morning's detonation, but the bridge fell onto itself, preventing it from descending into the Arkansas River, said Danny Straessle, a spokesman for the Arkansas Highway and Transportation Department.

After the explosives failed, the detonation contractors inspected parts of the bridge in a cage that was lifted into the air by a crane. Then, the crane attached a cable to north end of the bride. A tugboat attached to two barges tried several times to use the cable to pull the bridge down but was unsuccessful.

As morning turned to afternoon, the crane moved the cable to the center of the bridge. This time with two tugboats pulling, the bridge tumbled into the water. It was almost five hours after the explosion.

[VIDEOS: Watch footage of the Broadway Bridge coming down]

[REACTIONS: Spectators, social media users comment on failed bridge detonation]

"Construction is not a perfect science all the time," Straessle said.

He added that he was unsure if crews still had to retrieve all debris by 10 a.m. Wednesday. That was the original deadline, but he didn't know if it would change with the delayed demolition.

Even after the explosives failed to bring it down, Straessle said the bridge was never going to make it all the way through the day.

3:05 p.m. update: With help from tugboats, Broadway Bridge comes down

Tug boats pulled cables tied to the Broadway Bridge to bring down the span Tuesday afternoon, nearly five hours after explosives failed to collapse the bridge.

A series of nudges from the bridge's east side sent the structure into the Arkansas River, leaving only a few concrete arches and a sliver of the steel frame to be demolished.

Tuesday's failed detonation earlier in the day sparked an outpouring of social media chatter, including the creation of Broadway Bridge-themed accounts on Twitter and Facebook.

Noon update: Work continues to demolish arch

Crews will attempt to pull down the Broadway Bridge arch after explosives failed to collapse it into the Arkansas River.

Danny Straessle, spokesman for the Arkansas Highway and Transportation Department, said workers were attaching a cable to the bridge shortly before noon and were then going to use tug boats to apply pressure. The hope is the bridge will then fall, Straessle said.

"It could happen at any moment," he said, noting the debris still must be cleared from the channel by 10 a.m. Wednesday despite the delay. "If they get this down right now, they could still make that time."

[WATCH LIVE: Live video of the Broadway Bridge right now]

10:17 a.m. update: Explosives fail to bring down arch

The Broadway Bridge steel arch did not collapse into the Arkansas River after explosives went off as it was supposed to Tuesday morning.

Danny Straessle, spokesman for the Arkansas Highway and Transportation Department, said crews were investigating why the arch didn't fall.

"It should have come down when the explosives ignited," Straessle said several minutes after they went off, sending plumes of black smoke into the air. "That did not happen. The structure is severely weakened and it could come down at any time."

Broadway Bridge detonation and collapse

Nearly five hours after the detonation that was supposed to bring the Broadway Bridge down, two tugboats pulled it into the Arkansas River. Video by Brandon Riddle and Austin Cannon.
[View Full-Size]

Straessle said the bridge is "extremely dangerous" at the moment and it's unclear what the next step will be if it doesn't fall on its own.

"It's a testament to the structure itself that it didn't fall. It was built solid, I'll just say that."

Check back for updates and read Wednesday's Arkansas Democrat-Gazette for full details.

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Comments

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  • tressiewilkinsyahoocom
    October 11, 2016 at 10:27 a.m.

    Hello!! Did not need a new bridge!!!

  • FireEyes
    October 11, 2016 at 10:30 a.m.

    Nope, didn't need a new bridge. Well, this is a fine mess you've gotten us into. :-)

  • GC2001
    October 11, 2016 at 10:31 a.m.

    Where's King Kong when need him!

  • abb
    October 11, 2016 at 10:37 a.m.

    Id rather the money go to fix the debacle of the I 430 /630 intersection that STUPIDLY goes from 7/8 lanes down to 3 lanes. Dangerous and dumb IMHO.

  • Tigermule
    October 11, 2016 at 10:46 a.m.

    not a good deal for anybody. Now behind schedule and can you imagine this company being in the driver's seat for any similar jobs in the future?

  • BirdDogsRock
    October 11, 2016 at 11 a.m.

    London must be wishing it had Little Rock's bridge...

  • HarleyOwner
    October 11, 2016 at 11:06 a.m.

    If dynamite can't bring it down, then why was it considered unsafe?

  • amaxwell
    October 11, 2016 at 11:14 a.m.

    Should have called Samsung and got some of their phones to use! Not last years fireworks….lol

  • BirdDogsRock
    October 11, 2016 at 11:55 a.m.

    There are 100,000 Arkansas males with giant 4-wheel drives who would salivate at, and probably even pay for, the chance to tie their chains to the bridge and try pulling it down, just for the bragging rights!! Better yet, get the truck manufacturers to sponsor a contest, to see whose truck is the one that can "Pull Down a Bridge"... think of the advertising gold mine that would be!

  • BEARTRAP919
    October 11, 2016 at 12:38 p.m.

    Well it is plain to see that no one from Arkansas planted any of the Bombs in the World Trade Center, All of this Time some have been saying Hillary had a hand in it, but anyone with any sense knows that Dick Cheney, George Bush, Saudi Arabia were the Only ones that had a hand in it, The CIA and others did the Deed

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