By Mike Perleberg
(Madison, Ind.) - The third demolition of the old Milton-Madison Bridge sent explosive echoes through the nearby river valley Thursday morning.
Following two prior blasts in July and August, a third section of the U.S. 421 bridge – this a 400-foot section nearer the Indiana side of the Ohio River – was removed. Immediately after the loud controlled explosions disconnected the steel trusses at 9:00 a.m., the structure dropped into the river waters and bank below.
Crews then moved in to begin deconstructing the old bridge trusses, which will be sold as scrap metal.
Residents in a nearby Madison neighborhood were asked to remain in their homes starting at 8:45 and up until after the blast for safety reasons. The new Milton-Madison Bridge on temporary bridge piers just a few feet from the old span was shut down to traffic during and for a couple hours afterwards. It reopened at about 11:00 a.m.
One more demolition of an old bridge span is required later in September before the new bridge can be slid from its temporary piers onto the old, rehabilitated piers in the following weeks.
The bridge project started in 2010 has a price tag of about $103 million.