Explosives sent a section of the old Mississippi River bridge at Cape Girardeau crashing onto the tree-filled Illinois shore Aug. 3 as hundreds of spectators looked on from the Missouri shore.
The blast brought down three piers and the metal spans -- about 1,250 feet in length -- that sat on those piers in a matter of seconds.
It was the first of eight blasts that will occur over the next five months to remove the 76-year-old span. The next is tentatively scheduled to be set off in about a week, said Missouri Department of Transportation engineer Stan Johnson.
The explosion happened so quickly that by the time spectators heard the blast the steel span had already dropped.
The blast occurred about 12:10 p.m., 10 minutes later than planned. MoDOT's Johnson said the delay was prompted by a northbound tow on the river.
The bridge is being razed at a cost of $2.23 million. Midwest Foundation Corp. of Tremont, Ill., is the general contractor. Demtech, a subcontractor from Dubois, Wyo., handled the explosive work.
Johnson said other blasts will be more dramatic. "This one was really not the spectacular one," he said.
The new Bill Emerson Memorial Bridge opened just south of the old bridge last December.