Community gathers to watch Rocheport Bridge explosion
The Rocheport bridge was demolished with multiple controlled explosives on Sunday. The area erupted with the sound of 6 million pounds of steel falling into the Missouri River.
The Missouri Department of Transportation halted traffic along the Interstate 70 and river to safely detonate the multiple explosives on the bridge. Department officials said they considered alternatives like tearing down the bridge piece by piece — and decided controlled explosions were the best option.
Neil Laverty, a Rocheport resident, was among the crowd watching the explosion.
“I mean, literally the bridge just disappeared," said Laverty. " I was expecting it to tumble; it just vanished.”
Mike Peters, a Boone County fire lieutenant, was also among the crowd.
“I’ve seen three buildings go down, and this one went a lot faster than the buildings I’ve seen come down.”
The crew had 24 hours to clear debris and create a 300 foot-wide path on the river. A $220 million-dollar replacement bridge is expected by December 2024.
More information is available at the Columbia Missourian.