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Updated: 12:41 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 16, 2012 | Posted: 10:54 a.m. Thursday, Aug. 16, 2012
Contractors from Trumbull Corp. construction company dropped the four northern-most spans of the 31st Street Bridge as planned Thursday morning.
The explosion came at 10 a.m. and stopped traffic on Route 28 for approximately 15 minutes. Train and pedestrian traffic was also suspended.
Contractors spent the days leading up to the demolition removing the concrete slabs of road. The steel dropped into the Allegheny River will be removed by a barge and crane.
“This was a big exclamation point on the progress that PennDOT has slowly been making,” said Troy Hill resident Doug Croft, who watched the explosion from the Troy Hill Community Garden.
“It’s exciting to say, ‘I saw that,’ after all the preparation,” he said.
PennDOT spokesman Jim Struzzi said the demolition of the bridge is a pivotal milestone in the Route 28 improvement project.
"What we are doing today is using explosive demolition techniques to remove those final four spans of the bridge," Struzzi said.
Crews will now work to remove the steel from the Allegheny River and excavation work will begin at the new interchange.
Channel 11's news exchange partners at TribLIVE contributed to this report.
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