Saturday, November 14, 2015

It looked like nothing, and that was on purpose

A nifty short article on Wired about the demolition of E3: Watch Part of the Old Bay Bridge Implode.

Just after a lovely sunrise, a series of muffled booms shot across the San Francisco Bay, and a plume of water swallowed a huge chunk of the old Bay Bridge.

The chunk was once the E3 pier, a 20 million-ton concrete strut that reached from the water’s surface to the a foundation 50 feet below. At 7:18 am this morning 60,000 pounds of dynamite crumbled it into a hollow cylinder encased in Bay mud.

As the article goes on to explain, this was (deliberately) a very tame demolition from a spectator point of view. I was quite interested in this part:

Those two barges were a key part of the joy-killing efforts to conserve local wildlife. A series of hoses deployed from each sprayed the underwater portion of the pier in bubbles. "The bubble curtain is to contain the shock wave from the implosion," said Leah Robinson-Leach, CalTrans’ spokesperson for all things San Francisco Bay Bridge. To further spoil the fun (or protect people and structures safe from flying debris, again, depending on your perspective), the 80-by-140 foot rectangular top of the pier was covered by a huge steel and wood mat.

"Bubble curtain"? COOL!

I wonder if there is any underwater video of that part?

It is super-important to keep the San Francisco Bay as clean as possible, which is a real challenge given all the uses of the Bay.

So I'm pleased to see Cal Trans do what they can to avoid making matters worse, whenever possible.

And it was a cool little video in the article -- check it out!

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