2006-10-26 / News

Four blasts left for old Jamestown Bridge

By Sam Bari

Only four explosions to go before blasting is complete on the old Jamestown Bridge demolition project, according to Patrick O'Malley, project engineer for Cashman E q u i p m e n t Company of Boston, the contractor awarded the job.

Piers 1 and 2W will go today, and 3W is scheduled for Nov. 2. Piers 3 and 4E will be blasted on Nov. 9 and the last blast on Nov. 16 will be piers 1 and 2E, O'Malley said. "That's the schedule we have now, weather permitting, he added. The exact times have yet to be determined, but they will be posted by the state Department of Transportation in plenty of time to make motorists and residents aware well before the scheduled events. Just understand that this is not an exact science and the schedule can require changing for many different reasons," he said.

These explosions will be very much like those occurring over the last month. They are small detonations that are expected to require a brief clearance but not a closure of the Jamestown-Verrazzano Bridge. The U. S. Coast Guard will establish a 3,000-foot safety zone on either side of the demolition. Ramp access to Route 138 will probably be limited at the time of the detonations. However, official closings will not be required. More than likely, rolling closures that entail state troopers leading limited groups of motorists across the bridge at controlled lower speeds and stopping traffic entirely if necessary will be held, O'Malley said.

After the detonations, the crew will continue to clear debris out of the bay by loading the sunken concrete onto barges that will take it to three different locations to help make artificial reefs. "We'll have to come back next spring to oversee some landscaping, but other than that, we'll be pretty much finished in the next month or so," O'Malley said. The entire project has gone smoothly, safely, and has come in on time and on budget, he added.

Since last May, Cashman Equipment has overseen two major blasts and four smaller detonation events to dismantle the old Jamestown Bridge. In all, a total of ten explosive events will have taken place before the project is complete.

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