3:10 P.M. UPDATE:
After being hammered by a pneumatic ram Saturday afternoon, the Broadway Bridge’s remaining concrete arch dropped into the Arkansas River with a splash more than six hours after the other two arches fell.
The arch descended into the Arkansas River shortly before 2:30 p.m. Saturday, said Danny Straessle, a spokesman for the Arkansas State Highway and Transportation Department. The jackhammer-like ram was employed after explosive charges failed to bring the arch down Saturday morning.
Saturday wasn’t the bridge’s first display of resilience. Its steel arch survived explosives Tuesday morning before a pair of tugboats pulled it into the water almost five hours later.
Besides recovering debris, the next step in the construction is to remove the columns that supported the arches to make way for the new bridge, Straessle said.
Read Sunday’s Arkansas Democrat-Gazette for the full story.
— Austin Cannon
2:10 P.M. UPDATE:
Crews will use a pneumatic ram to dismantle the Broadway Bridge’s remaining concrete arch after the two other arches were demolished earlier Saturday, a highway department official said.
Danny Straessle, a spokesman for the Arkansas State Highway and Transportation Department, said contractors were working Saturday afternoon to load a track hoe, to which the ram is attached, onto a barge. The barge will then float over to the remaining arch where the ram will hammer into the concrete.
The pneumatic ram is similar to a jackhammer, Straessle said.
“It’s probably not going to take much for it to fall,” he added.
The contractors aren’t facing an immediate deadline to destroy the arch, Straessle said. Unlike the steel arch that was demolished Tuesday, the concrete arches are not in the Arkansas River’s navigation channel.
The other two concrete arches were demolished shortly after 8 a.m. Saturday by explosive charges. Six hours later, the arch closest to the North Little Rock shore was still standing.
Straessle said it was possible the explosive charges were placed too deep within the arch, causing them to destroy to arch’s underside while leaving the top intact.
Check back with Arkansas Online for updates and read Sunday’s Arkansas Democrat-Gazette for the full story.
— Austin Cannon
Crowds gathered along the shore of the Arkansas River to watch the 93-year-old concrete arches crumble into the water shortly after 8 a.m. Saturday after the detonation was postponed a day due to lighting.
When the dust cleared, it was revealed that only two of the three arches fell. The Arkansas Highway and Transportation Department said the explosion did damage the bottom of the third arch and exposed its rebar. Crews on barges were planning to take down that arch later Saturday.
On Tuesday, the span's newer steel arches did not collapse until five hours after explosives affixed to the bridge went off. Tugboats pulled the structure into the water, and it took crews nearly two days to remove all of the pieces, surpassing the 24 hour deadline set by the U.S. Coast Guard.
On Saturday, the charges were placed in holes drilled into the arches rather than just on top of them, and they were wrapped in fabric to minimize the dispersal of debris, the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette previously reported.
There is no deadline for when concrete debris must be removed from the water because it isn't in the navigation channel, the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette reported. The contractor, Massman Construction Co., is just required to remove all pieces larger than a bowling ball.
However, Massman could face penalties if it exceeds the 180-day deadline to finish the bridge replacement project. The company could lose $80,000 for every day it goes beyond that time limit.
Read Sunday's Arkansas Democrat-Gazette for full details.