Historic bridge set to fall - WAFF-TV: News, Weather and Sports for Huntsville, AL

Historic bridge set to fall

A piece of Heart of the Valley history is set to drop into the Tennessee River. The old Whitesburg bridge is scheduled for implosion. It'll fall in 7 different pieces over a six week period. The first charge is scheduled for Wednesday morning.

He stopped by Ditto Landing for one last look and a few last pictures. Though long since retired, Buddy Wilson spent decades crossing the subject of his photos, the 75-year-old C.C Clay Bridge.

"I worked in Huntsville, live in Arab," Wilson explains. "Spent a lot of time going across the bridge."

A bridge also retired since April. And while barges haul away the last of the concrete, the old steel trusses still stand at least for a few hours longer.

"Traffic will be stopped in both directions," Alabama Department of Transportation Engineer Johnny Harris says. "Load up the trusses with some charges. A series of probably six or eight large pops or explosions that will cut the steel in two and allow the trusses to drop in the water."

Over a six week period, specialists will dismantle that bridge with a series of seven blasts, each one dropping a two hundred foot section of bridge truss into the Tennessee River below. As one span is set to fall, another stands newly opened alongside.

"How times change," Harris shakes his head. "Situations change, and progress, you can see progress being made."

Camera in hand, Buddy Wilson says the sight reminds him of objects taken for granted.

"So many people in the world don't have the convenience of being able to drive across a bridge to go where they want to go," Wilson explains.

Work, home, or elsewhere, over the years, many thousands have gone across that span.

That first implosion happens Wednesday morning. The largest implosion scheduled for August 31st. Traffic will be shut down each and every time.

You can watch Wednesday's implosion live on WAFF 48 News.

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