Catasauqua Press

Monday, August 19, 2019

Bridge demo: Prepare for Oct. 11 dynamite blast

Wednesday, October 4, 2017 by AL RECKER Special to The Press in Local News

The two outer arches of the Coplay-Northampton Bridge will fall to two dynamite blasts the morning of Oct. 11.

The announcement was made Sept. 25 at a briefing for borough representatives from Coplay and Northampton. Attending the briefing were police, public works and elected officials from both boroughs.

The third center arch will fall sometime in early November.

Chuck Grabner, project manager for Joseph B. Fay Company, Pittsburgh — the company retained for the demolition of the concrete arches — held the session in council chambers at the Northampton Borough Municipal Building.

Although the blast and fall of the concrete arches — which date to the 1930s — will be instantaneous, the details took much longer, taking into account safety measures for the public.

The demolition will take place at approximately 9:30 a.m. that day. Officials said children should be in school by that time, and school buses should not be in the vicinity. Norfolk-Southern Railroad, which operates a freight train through the area from upstate New York, will be halted temporarily.

The Ironton Rail Trail on the Coplay side of the bridge and the Canal Street Park Heritage Walkway in Northampton will be cordoned off. Residents in homes and apartments on either side of the bridge will have strict instructions to remain inside.

The streets on both sides of the bridge will be barricaded briefly for the blasting operation. No viewing area will be arranged. Those wishing to see the demolition can watch Joseph B. Fay Company’s video footage on YouTube.

The $33.5 million bridge replacement is a three-year project that began in May.