Part of old Belleair bridge goes out with a bang

BELLEAIR — Clouds of smoke and hills of water erupted from the Intracoastal Waterway on Wednesday morning as a piece of the Old Belleair Beach Causeway Bridge was demolished.

The underwater explosion in part of the foundation of the old bridge took place at 9:49 a.m. It was delayed about 20 minutes because a dolphin was swimming nearby. A few spectators stopped at a dock at Second Street Park in Belleair Beach to see the splash and hear the thunderous roar.

"I read about it in the paper and thought it would be interesting to watch," said Mike Bracewell, 61, of Indian Rocks Beach.

The new $72 million Belleair Beach Causeway Bridge, which opened to two-way traffic in late May, was closed a little after 9 a.m. but reopened shortly after the old bridge's demolition.

Many of the piers of the old bridge still remain. The bridge has been under demolition for weeks and is expected to take several more to complete.

This was only detonation scheduled for the bridge, said Meg Korakis, Pinellas County spokeswoman.

Dave Evans was glad he caught a glimpse of it.

"Seeing that water just column up, that was really neat," said Evans, 29, a crew leader for Belleair Beach's public works department.

Part of old Belleair bridge goes out with a bang 07/15/09 [Last modified: Thursday, July 16, 2009 9:50am]

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