What a blast! --  04/20/06


That was the headline on yesterday's Providence Journal as they covered the story of the demolition of the old Jamestown Bridge.

That is to say, the demolition of the center 1150 feet of the bridge came on Tuesday... the remainder (more than a mile, adding together both halves -- this was the longest bridge in New England when it was built... around seven thousand feet total) will be taken care of in future demolitions this summer and into the early autumn.

More than a thousand people were at the University of Rhode Island's Bay Campus, a bit over two miles from the bridge. Many more at other vantage points, including boats on the water.

The Dept. of Transportaion Web site must have been really hammered by people trying to watch their Webcam pictures of the demolition because it became impossible to see anything there.

At least two of the Providence television stations carried it live, completed with helicopters. I turned on Channel 10 a little before ten a.m. and turned on my DVD recorder... so now I have a DVD of the demolition -- except the demolition came around eleven a.m. you you have to fast-forward through almost an hour of the Regis and Some Blonde Chick Show.

Jill heard them cut to the live news coverage and called me, so we did get to watch it as it happened. It really was rather awesome... and then, about 40 or so seconds later, there came this loud rumbling sound -- like thunder that lasts for several seconds -- as the sounds of the explosions reached us, about eight miles away.

Here are a few snapshots of the TV screen....

If you go to the Channel 10 Web site and scroll down to the bottom of the page where they have their "Must See Video" section, you can choose from various news items, including several dealing with the bridge. (Or, if you go to their video features page you also get the option of viewing the videos in full screen instead of just in a little window.)You have to scroll down in that right-hand window until you find the items labelled "Bridge Implosion - 3 angles in slow motion" and "Jamestown Bridge Comes Down" and "Bridge Demolition View from Water" -- Also there is an item "Cleaning Up Jamestown Bridge Debris" -- it has a brief clip of the demolition, one called "Jamestown Bridge -- A Look Back" and one called "Legends of the Jamestown Bridge" (including the legend that a construction worker was buried alive in the concrete), and one about workers preparing for the demolition, etc.

Oh, and while you're there, you might check the "Lovin' the Big Blue Bug" video -- yes, it's all about the classic Rhode Island landmark (or should that be mascot?), the Big Blue Bug.

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