OAKMONT, Pa. - PennDOT imploded the 107-year-old Hulton Bridge in Oakmont on Tuesday.
The bridge was destroyed because a replacement span built next to it is open to traffic and substantially complete.
PennDOT kept people 1,000 feet away from the blast and closed nearby Route 28 for 15 minutes to ensure motorist safety.
The implosion was scheduled for approximately 10 a.m., but it was done about 10 minutes early.
Students at nearby Riverview High School were moved to another building during the detonation.
"I just wanted to see the Hulton Bridge before it took the big splash into the river," said John Crawford, a nearby resident.
Brayman Construction Corp. handled the implosion.
The new $66 million bridge is open, though one of its new lanes remains closed while crews complete connecting roads on the Oakmont side of the bridge.
The bridge spans the Allegheny River between Oakmont and Harmar Township, about 10 miles northeast of Pittsburgh.
Oakmont's mayor called the new bridge a rebirth for the community.
"We have a lot of folks from Fox Chapel and O'Hara Township, they come over to visit our boutiques, our nice eating places and especially the Oakmont bakery ," Mayor Robert J. Fescemyer said.
Traffic on the Allegheny River will be halted for at least a few days while the remnants of the old bridge are removed.
"It's somewhat heartbreaking in that it has been in the community for so long and now it's gone," neighbor Dan Fuchs said.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
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