Wednesday, February 29th, 2012

Blow Up

It’s not often that transportation related videos pick up over half a million views on You Tube. But this extremely cool video of the Ohio Department of Transportation blowing up the Ft. Steubenville Bridge is one of them. The bridge blows up in the first few seconds, then there’s a slo-mo repeat. If the video doesn’t display, click here.

h/t Rust Wire.

Topics: Transportation

9 Responses to “Blow Up”

  1. PatrickP says:

    I went to college in Steubenville and we used The Ft. Steuben Bridge to get over the river to Weirton, WV and then on to Pittsburgh. The new suspension bridge opened my first or second year of school (’92 or ’93) and connected to the new Route 22 extension which bypassed downtown Weirton.

  2. Roland S says:

    Cool video, but why the hell would they tear this down? As far as I can tell, it wasn’t in imminent danger of collapse. Why not make it into a bike trail or observation point or something?

    It’s probably one of the few real landmarks in the area. I don’t understand why this community wants to make itself less distinctive. It’s not like Southeast Ohio is the wealthiest area, they could use more visitors.

  3. PatrickP says:

    Roland, they just renovated the Market Street Bridge a couple miles down river.

    It looks pretty cool when it’s lit up at night.

  4. John says:

    So if you live in Weirton and want to bike to Steubenville, how are you supposed to do that? Are bikes permitted on US-22?

    Even if they were, would you really want to bike on this freeway? This seems like another auto-centric blunder by ODOT.

  5. John Morris says:

    While I have some sympathy, for this view, I doubt the millions it will take to maintain the structure justify it’s use for just bikes.

    I know it’s a chicken and egg situation since lack of infrastructure cuts the number of people biking, but I somehow doubt there would be substantial use anytime soon. One does have to look at the costs relative to the benefits.
    Maintaining steel bridges in that regional climate is no joke.

  6. John Morris says:

    You do make an interesting point though, in that some type of bike path system along the Ohio river would likely be a pretty great tourist asset. The region is very distinctive and interesting.

  7. Joseph E says:

    This historic bridge blog has mor info on the Fort Steuben bridge:

    “Attempts to save the bridge to be reused as a bike trail that would have connected Washington, DC and Indianapolis was quashed by officials of the Ohio DOT, who wanted to keep cyclists and pedestrians off the newly constructed Ohio Hwy. 7 expressway running along the west side of the river. The strive to demolish the suspension bridge persisted despite opposition from locals and preservationists wanting the bridge saved and reused for recreational purposes.”

    “Finally on Monday 20 February, 2012, officials from both states got their wish as a piece of history that tied Weirton and Steubenville together came crashing down without any remorse. In one of the videos of the demolition, one of the Ohio DOT officials stated “When ODOT’s not out plowing snow or repairing the roads we also enjoy blowing up old bridges.”


  8. John says:

    They should have included a barrier-separated sidewalk/bike path on the new Veterans Memorial Bridge (US-22).

  9. EngineerScotty says:

    I’m surprised that detonating a bridge and dropping tons of concrete, rebar, explosive residue, cabling, and whatever else into a river is even legal.

    How much would it have cost to maintain this bridge, if it only had to support its own weight, and that of bikes and pedestrians, vs that of vehicles? And how bike/ped hostile is the local political culture?

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