Contractors for the Missouri Department of Transportation blasted the westbound span of the Blanchette Bridge Tuesday morning while a crowd of hundreds watched from the riverfront in St. Charles.
The steel in the top of the bridge was blasted while the piers will be rehabbed. St. Charles County Area Engineer Tom Evers said it appeared one center piers had superficial damage to it.
Crews have 24 hours to remove the section closest to St. Louis County from the river and 48 hours to remove the rest of the steel.
Crowds gathered on the riverfront near Bishop's Landing wondered what would happen to the birds during the blast.
"We set charges to scare the fish away before we do the real blast," Evers said. "We do environmental screenings of the project to make sure there are no endangered animals living in or under or on the bridge."
As for the birds, it's possible some pidgeon's lives were lost, Evers said. "You can't keep them all off the bridge all at one time," he said.
Debbie Koch, of Hazelwood, said the blast was "awesome." She came out with her four grandchildren and took video to send to grandpa at work.
"That was better than I thought," Koch said. "I wasn't expecting to see so much smoke and colors. That was very pretty."
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