By Erica Kearns
After standing high above the Elk River for nearly 90 years, the old Hartland Bridge is no more. An eight person crew working for Reclaim Co and Demtech began preparation of the bridge on Monday for a scheduled demolition on Friday. The detailed plan involved five different torch workers burning the bridge into five different sections before strategically placing fifty detonation charges onto the structure. Once the explosives were in place Thursday afternoon a crew stood by to guard the area. A 1,000 foot perimeter was secured and the waterways were monitored by firemen to ensure the safety of the area. At around 9:00 am on Friday a loud blast was heard as the 250 ton structure fell into the water in just under two seconds.
Steve Gabbert, operations manager of Reclaim Co, said the demolition went exactly as planned. “Thanks to the cooperation of the people of both Hartland and Clay, as well as emergency officials from the Clay Volunteer Fire Department, the Clay Sheriff’s Office and the West Virginia State Police the explosive demolition occurred without any injuries or damages. We couldn’t be more grateful to the folks that helped make that happen.”
Crews will continue to work at the site throughout the week to continue clean up and removal of the debris.