Penn. bridge demolition interrupted by unexpected collapse

Updated May 6, 2018
Tweeted by Stacy Lange/WNEP.Tweeted by Stacy Lange/WNEP.

As Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT) crews worked to slowly and carefully bring down the 100-year-old Harrison Avenue Bridge in Scranton over Central Scranton Expressway on April 19, one span of the bridge came crashing down unexpectedly, WNEP News reports.

The expressway had been closed to traffic for several hours before the demolition began, and no construction workers were injured. The bonus, the bridge demolition is now ahead of schedule.

“What was expected to take one or two days ended up taking one or two seconds this morning, around 5 o’clock in the morning,” said PennDOT official James May, according to the news agency. “They were hammering up top, and the entire first span over top of the Central Scranton Expressway did collapse down onto itself. The reason that we closed the expressway, and the reason that we took the safety precautions that we did, was because we knew this would be a possibility. It was not the plan, but we knew it was a possibility.”

The demolition crew quickly became a cleanup crew, removing the remains of the bridge.

“What’s happening now is that it all fell down on the expressway at once, but there’s just as much debris to clean up. So, we may end up being done a little bit early, but at this point we really don’t know,” May told the news agency.