ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

The Charleroi Monessen Bridge Is Demolished

Updated on September 16, 2011
Onlookers away the blast to send the bridge into the river below.
Onlookers away the blast to send the bridge into the river below. | Source
The Charleroi-Monessen bridge in its last moments.
The Charleroi-Monessen bridge in its last moments. | Source
The bridge is dropped to the river below.
The bridge is dropped to the river below. | Source

Bridge Dropped To Make Way For New Span

The Charleroi-Monessen Bridge is history-for now. Demolition crews have imploded the 107 year old span to as plans to rebuild it move forward.

The bridge enabled easier access between Westmoreland and Washington counties in Southwestern Pennsylvania.

The bridge was closed in late 2008 when an inspection showed severe structural deficiencies.

Work is expected to continue through the winter and be complete some time in late 2012.

When the new bridge is open, it will be named after John K. Tenner, a former Charleroi resident who was both a major league baseball player and former governor of Pennsylvania. He also served in the U.S. House of Representatives.

* * *

It was my first bridge demolition.

I arrived early and found a place a safe distance away from the heart of the action. What I found most interesting was that for every onlooker, there were at least two lost souls who didn’t know what was about to take place.

Many people I did talk to are quite anxious to see the new bridge open. Traffic has been detoured in the area for nearly three years now.

I felt more than a little nostalgia watching the aged structure in its last moments. Being a native and current resident of Charleroi, I loosely estimate having traveled the bridge thousands of times. Its location made getting through the area much quicker.

The bridge had a design feature that some didn’t like: It was open grate. Crossing the open grates meant that if you could look down, you would see fleeting dispatches of the flowing Monongahela River below you.

The grates raised the anxieties of many. Drivers and passengers alike had to fight off or ignore the irrational message thoughts that came with actually seeing was below in the event your journey might fail. Many learned to ignore those messages and went about their business. Those who couldn’t shake the feelings made other travel arrangements.

The grates could also make traction tough. Too much traction was a problem then it would ice over quickly in the winter. It also seemed to make cars shimmy ever so slightly from right to left.

I have many memories of going places and being on the bridge. From outings to emergencies to daily routines, it seemed to rush to my mind while watching the final moments of the bridge.

I, like most of the onlookers, didn't have too much time to dwell.

Shortly before 9 a.m., without announcement, there was a bunch of flashes and an unbelievably loud blast followed by a giant black and gray cloud of smoke.

Then it was gone.

I wanted to stay and see the how the metal structure fell in the river but the blast was quite deafening and the smoke cloud was dissipating my way, so I took that as my exit cue.

Should you ever get a chance to witness a mass demolition, I suggest you be sure to stay a good distance away (which I did) and wear ear plugs (which I didn’t).

I look forward to using the new structure when it opens (hopefully) late next year.

My ears should stop ringing by then.

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No comments yet.

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)