Video: Largest Bridge Ever Exploded In Texas

You would have thought it was the Fourth of July the way the people of Marble Falls, Texas had gathered on the lakeshore and filled Marble Falls Lake with their boats March 17. But the community assembled to see a light show of a different kind. Hundreds lined up to watch a moment in time as the decades old truss bridge on US 281 was demolished in a seconds-long explosion, becoming the largest bridge of its kind to ever be demolished in the state of Texas.

“It’s a great reason to be up and have a cup of coffee with the community, and it’s a bridge blow-up party, it’s pretty cool,” Marble Falls resident James Oakley told ABC affiliate KVUE.

Video footage of the explosion depicts the bridge from a distance across calm lake waters, sprinkled with waiting boaters. Suddenly, the bridge lights up, left to right. Then, in the blink or an eye, it is covered in smoke as pieces of truss tumble in to the waters below. The crowd gathered nearby begins to cheer at the spectacle.

The real-time footage is fascinating to watch, as it’s amazing how quickly the bridge is destroyed, which was precisely the Texas Department of Transportation’s goal. TxDOT spokeswoman Kelli Reyna told KVUE its contractors decided an implosion would save time versus taking the bridge down mechanically.

“They said look, we think we can do an implosion and it will be just as safe and actually speed up the timeline,” Reyna said.

Now, TxDOT plans to construct a new, safer bridge to be completed by 2014. But the pieces of the old bridge will be saved for posterity.

“We’ve actually partnered with a local recycling company who is going to recycle all the steel, and they’re going to be making art sculptures for the city of Marble Falls,” Reyna told KVUE.

Then, of course, there’s the footage of an explosion Marble Falls residents are unlikely to forget, even if it did knock out their phone service for awhile.