Using hot copper explosives contractors plan to torch through the two southern-most spans on the Traffic Bridge in phase one of its demolition on Sunday.
“We have 16 locations where we have placed the explosives it’s all going to go off at once, all you’re going to hear is one loud bang and both spans will drop immediately to the berm,” said contractor Tristan Rakowski.
The City of Saskatoon, with the help of local fire and police personnel, are closing off a 250-metre exclusion zone 90 minutes before the explosion. That means roads and walking trails around the Traffic Bridge on both sides of the river will be closed to the public for that time.
Traffic restrictions extend to the Broadway Bridge, where the public is invited to view the demolition scheduled for 9 a.m. The City said there is no threat of flying debris or dust on the Broadway Bridge.
The City’s Dan Willems said people living within the exclusion zone have been notified to stay inside during the demolition as it will be quite loud if you’re within the exclusion zone. They will also hear loud sirens counting down to the blast. Subscribers to NotifyNow will also receive messages about the explosions before and after they happen.
“Three minutes prior to the blast the contractor will sound a series of three short sirens to signal the pending demolition and after the blast, which will only take a few seconds, the contractor will check the site and a longer all-clear siren will sound,” he said.
Once the spans are off, construction crews will cut them into smaller pieces and haul them away, ensuring nothing spilled over into the river.
The north end spans will be removed later this year as construction continues to move forward.