Despite the rain and near freezing temperatures, the south span of the old Hurricane Deck Bridge superstructure was blasted into history Saturday with just minor delays before the demolition took place around 9:30 a.m.
Another 740 feet of the old Highway 5 crossing at the 35 mile marker of the Lake of the Ozarks was blasted Dec. 21 two weeks after the first blast took out the north span Dec. 7.
Utilizing about 2.28 pounds more of explosives than the first blast, the demolition of the south span was louder as specially designed linear shaped explosives sheered the superstructure into several parts and dropped a million pounds of steel into the lake.
Twisted steel rose above the water's surface in a couple of places afterwards while barrels again marked the location of pieces that sunk below. Debris littered the water in the aftermath as well.
All that remains for demolition now is the 700 foot center span. The third and final place should take place in another two weeks.
In the meantime, crews will stay busy pulling the steel pieces out of the water with a large crane.
It should be even louder than the second blast. Approximately 47.12 pounds of explosives will be used in the final blast compared to 33.44 in the second and 31.16 in the first.
The bridge was eight spans long with three spans of concrete girders and five spans of steel truss girders. Only the steel truss spans - around 2,180 feet - are being removed by blasting. The piers will be taken out later but not with explosives.
The $32.3 million contract with American Bridge Company, Inc. for the new bridge included the demolition of the old bridge. Duane Houkom, Inc. is the subcontractor for the blasting.
Built 1934-35, the old bridge was a five span steel continuous cantilevered Warren deck-truss design with two concrete deck-girder approach spans and was the last of its kind in the state, being only one of three of that type built in Missouri. The other two were also located at the Lake of the Ozarks - the old Grand Glaize Bridge and the Niangua Arm Bridge - and have already been replaced.
The American Institute of Steel Construction named the Hurricane Deck Bridge the most beautiful steel span built in 1936. And that beauty helped make it a landmark at the Lake of the Ozarks since it opened Dec. 28, 1936 and was officially dedicated Oct. 3, 1937.
Originally a toll bridge, there are likely few now who remember paying to cross, but the cost was 40 cents for a car and driver and 5 cents for each additional passenger - or a dime for a round trip.
Prior to the old bridge, cars and people were moved across the water by ferry.
Page 2 of 2 - The new bridge is a safety improvement as the old bridge was considered structurally deficient and had rust issues.
The new bridge is also wider providing more space for shoulders.
Drilled shafts and rock sockets, ranging from a few feet long to 100 feet long, hold up the new bridge.
MoDOT has invested roughly $100 million in bridge work in the region over the last 20 years.