A 93-year-old bridge deemed “structurally deficient” proved not so weak after all when a demolition team tried to bring it down with powerful explosives on Tuesday.
Despite the charges going off on cue on the Broadway Bridge between Little Rock and North Little Rock, when the smoke cleared the steel arch and deck stood damaged but unmoved over the Arkansas river.
People who had gathered to watch reacted with gasps as the explosives went off with a loud report, but then broke into murmurs and laughter as it became evident the bridge was not going anywhere.
Severing the span should have taken about 30 seconds but a demolition crew had to spend another five hours on the job, eventually pulling it down with a cable.
Arkansas highway department spokesman Danny Straessle said the blasts weakened the bridge but parts of it fell against themselves and none fell into the river.