Bridge? What Bridge?

Bridge? What Bridge?

Who says local government never gets anything done fast? Last Monday the New York State Department of Transportation (NYSDOT) and the Vermont Agency of Transportation (VTrans) brought down the ailing Lake Champlain Bridge in less than ten seconds — check out its lightning-fast disintegration captured on the video clip above.

The 80-year old bridge connecting New York and Vermont had outlived its design life, and was shut down in October when an inspection discovered cracks growing in its concrete piers at an alarmingly fast rate. Last week’s demolition was performed by New York’s “blasting subcontractor,” Advanced Explosives Demolition, who laced the bridge with 500 explosive charges that sliced through the steel span at 17,000 feet per second. The bridge’s remains will be retrieved from the lake by next spring.

Meanwhile, NYSDOT and VTrans are already planning the Lake Champlain bridge’s successor. A preliminary online public survey favored a Modified Network Tied Arch design like the one below:

Image courtesy of the New York State Department of Transportation.