by Max Brantley
On Monday, November 21, one of the remaining two footings that supported the steel navigation arch will be detonated. At approximately 4:00 p.m., the demolition contractor will detonate explosives drilled into the northernmost concrete footing. This footing has been reduced in height to approximately one-foot above river stage, drilled to a depth of 25 feet, and packed with explosives designed to break apart the structure for easy removal of debris from the navigation channel.It's an underwater blast, so there won't be a lot to see, but any spectators are courage to view from the Little Rock bank of the vier.
The process will begin after 8:00 a.m. and take several hours to complete. The river will be closed to traffic to reduce the potential for disturbing the process. The work is weather-dependent and if high-winds associated with an approaching weather system later in the day occur, the work will be rescheduled.By Thanksgiving, Massman Construction will be 55 days into the 180-day period for bridge closure on the $98.4 million project. It must reopen by March 29, or financial penalties will be imposed. The company also wins bonuses for each day of early completion.