Fourth span of Saskatoon's Traffic Bridge taken out by explosives

More of Saskatoon's iconic, yet derelict Traffic Bridge came down Sunday morning as crews used explosive charges to collapse the bridge's northern span.

Northern span taken down; one span remains standing

Another span of Saskatoon's Traffic Bridge was taken down, Sunday, Feb. 7. 0:47

More of Saskatoon's iconic, yet derelict Traffic Bridge came down Sunday morning as crews used explosive charges to collapse another portion of the bridge, leaving one span left to be taken out later this year.

It was a partial demolition, similar to the one last month, but one that used a modified method.

Using one quarter of the explosives used on the previous Jan. 10 demolition, crews detonated the charges at 8:30 a.m. CST. Three short beeps signalled a three-minute countdown to the boom, then one long beep signalled the explosion.

After the explosive charges ignited, the bridge span partially fell onto a river berm constructed below it. The top portion of the bridge remained resting on the pier adjacent to River Landing and the riverbank.

Earlier in the week, the city's special projects manager, Dan Willems, said this method was used so to ensure none of the retaining wall at River Landing is damaged.

The Saskatoon Traffic Bridge's northernmost span is taken down by explosive charges on Feb. 7 in Saskatoon. (Albert Couillard/Radio-Canada)

After the demolition, Willems said that at first look, from the Broadway Bridge, there didn't appear to be any damage or issues with how the span fell onto the berm.

Willems said the takedown went according to plan. The next step is for workers to manually dismantle the span, he said.

Like the previous demolition, Sunday's was managed by Graham Commuter Partners, who contracted demolition contractor Rakowski Cartage and Wrecking Ltd.

A few hundred people lined up on the Broadway Bridge to watch Sunday's explosion — far fewer than the thousands who were there on the Jan. 10 takedown.

More of the Traffic Bridge is taken out with explosives in Saskatoon on Feb. 7. (Albert Couillard/Radio-Canada)

The city blocked off more than half of the Broadway Bridge so that curious onlookers were confined to a smaller portion of the bridge to watch. The rest of the bridge remained empty and blocked off because it was within the 250 metre radius of the exclusion zone.


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