TRIGG COUNTY, Ky. (WKRN) - An 86-year-old bridge in Canton, Kentucky was destroyed Wednesday morning in an explosive demolition.
Two main spans on the old U.S. 68/KY 80 Lake Barkley Bridge were demolished around 7:15 a.m.
Highway traffic on the new U.S. 68/KY 80 Lake Barkley Bridge will be blocked for up to two hours to accommodate the use of explosives on the old bridge. There will be an extended halt to commercial boat traffic on Lake Barkley for an estimated 24 hours.
A spokesperson for the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet said hundreds, possibly thousands of people watched the demolition, but with a clear zone of 1,500 feet around the blast site, spectator locations will be limited.
“The demolition crew has indicated an area along the multi-use trail on the Land Between The Lakes side will be out of the clear zone and available for spectators. There will be an east viewing near the Lakeview One Stop the Canton end of the bridge,” KYTC District 1 Chief Engineer Mike McGregor explained.
Prior to the main blast, there was another smaller one designed to scare away any birds. That smaller blast preceded the main one by an estimated 20 to 30 seconds.
When the main steel structures of the old bridge dropped into Kentucky Lake, cranes moved in to quickly remove the fallen steel.
Constructed as a toll bridge, the old U.S. 68/KY 80 Lake Barkley Bridge is also known as the Henry R. Lawrence Memorial Bridge and the Canton Bridge. It opened to traffic in 1932.
A new bridge, nine miles west of Cadiz, opened to traffic on February 12. It serves as the eastern entrance to Land Between the Lakes National Recreation Area.