Wednesday, August 27, 2003

Workers make not-so-short work of demolition cleanup on Licking

By Cindy Schroeder
The Cincinnati Enquirer

[IMAGE] A section of the old Shortway Bridge (foreground) rests on the Covington bank of the Licking River
(Patrick Reddy photo)
| ZOOM |
Demolition crews worked around the clock Tuesday to remove debris from the Licking River after a couple of sections from the imploded Shortway Bridge locked together.

Crews demolished the 88-year-old span, also known as the 12th Street Bridge, at 8 a.m. Monday and dropped six sections of the steel bridge into the river. CRS Demolition of Louisville had planned to remove all the sections within 24 hours, but a couple of pieces jammed and locked, said Jon Davies, president of CRS Demolition.

"The pieces got jammed up at one end and they all locked together," Davies said. "On (one) side, the second section fell down first and the first section fell down behind it and jammed it forward into the third section. That locked all three (sections) together and caused us some extra work."

A crane barge was expected to remove the last of the six bridge sections Tuesday night.

Half the channel reopened to boat and barge traffic by 10 a.m. Tuesday, said Petty Officer Brian Seaman of the U.S. Coast Guard's Cincinnati office. For safety reasons, Coast Guard officials advised barge and boat traffic to contact CRS Demolition if operators planned to travel through the implosion area Tuesday afternoon.

"Until everything was out of the river, we asked boat and barge traffic to contact the contractor so that (workers) could stop what they were doing and get their equipment out of the way," said Roger Wiebusch, bridge administrator for the U.S. Coast Guard.

Kentucky environmental officials were not concerned by the delay in removing bridge debris, said Kerry Holt, spokeswoman for the Natural Resources & Environmental Protection Cabinet.

"As long as they're planning to remove it, or are in the process of removing (the bridge debris) there's not an immediate concern," Holt said Tuesday.

Closed since April 2, 2001, the Shortway Bridge linking 11th Street in Newport with 12th Street in Covington was replaced six months later by the $10.2 million, four-lane Licking Valley Girl Scout Bridge.


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