Friday, May 15, 2009

Pomeroy Mason Bridge

On April 21, 2009 the Bridge connecting Pomeroy, Ohio and Mason, West Virginia met the first of several explosions to bring the structure down. The bridge was a cantilever truss bridge built in 1928 by the Mount Vernon Bridge Company of Mount Vernon, Ohio.

The center span would be the first to be destroyed. Due to river traffic the demolition company could only shut down the main channel for 24 hours without facing penalties. The approaches and piers would be destroyed later.

The day of demolition I went early and set up the camera on the tripod and got ready. I set my settings on manual and raw capture to get the fastest frames per second. I was working that day and got called away so I left the remote shutter release with Dad to take the shots. The only problem was, while I was away the clouds cleared up changing the exposure settings. Dad was not aware of the how I had the camera set and triggered the shutter on cue. The captures were overexposed by 2 stops!. Luckily I had used RAW and I could salvage the shots. I merged them into an animated gif.

So this week on May 14, 2009 the Mason, West Virginia side's time was up. I set up in the same location. This time I used RAW and aperture priority. Where I set up, the local news station had set up also. My youngest son had been talking for a year about going to watch the bridge blow up. He had seen the first demolition and did not like it because of the noise. This time I let him bring my ear muffs I use in the wood shop this time hoping it would help. It did not, he said it was too loud. Apparently it made a good news story because we made the local news.

Link to WSAZ News Video

It was an overcast day with rain, but I managed to get another series of shots and again merged them into an animated gif.

So after the implosion I drove across the new Bridge of Honor to Mason, West Virginia and took a few shots wreckage and equipment that had already moved in to remove it.

One thing I noticed is how clean the copper clad explosives cut the steel. Here is a photo showing the cut. You can see the copper on the inside of the cut and the c-clamps used to hold the explosives in place are still attached.

One of the features of the bridge design and construction was the eye beams. Shown here is the end of one of the eye beams protruding from the wreckage.

The cutters quickly moved in to remove the debris. It did not take long before some of the first large pieces were being hauled away.

This is not what I have normally been blogging about, but it was an interesting subject for my lens so I thought I would share.


Information pertaining to the date of construction and manufacturer was found on