“Excavator Ballet”: Time-Lapse Video of Utah Bridge Demolition and Slide

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Updated May 1, 2023

The Utah Department of Transportation has done it again – demolishing a bridge and sliding a new one into place in just three days through its accelerated bridge construction program.

The latest demo and slide were captured on the above 1-minute UDOT time-lapse video over the weekend of April 14-16 in Salt Lake City.

The video starts with an excavator ballet of sorts as numerous machines work together night and day with hydraulic breakers to take down the 1300 East bridge over Interstate 80. The bridge was built in the early 1960s and was due for replacement, according to UDOT.

Before the demolition, crews for contractor Ralph L Wadsworth Construction based in Draper, Utah, built a new bridge 110 feet away from the existing 1300 East bridge. The new bridge is 175 feet long and 172 feet wide. It also comes with a 17-foot-wide trail for the east side and a new sidewalk on the west side.

After the bridge deck and supports were removed, the slide of the 5-million-pound bridge began the next day. UDOT says it marks one of the longest slides performed in the state. During the slide, the excavators continued their choreographed dance to break up concrete on the ground below.

Once the bridge was in place, UDOT had met its goal of once again minimizing traffic disruption and delivering a new bridge that will be much smoother for drivers and safer for pedestrians and cyclists.

The slide is part of a $146.5 million project to repave with concrete I-80 between 1300 East and 2300 East, and I-215 between 3300 South and 4500 South. The eastbound I-80 section is also being widened an additional lane.

The 1300 East bridge is among three bridges being demolished and rebuilt for the project, which began in May 2021 and is expected to end late this year. Here’s a link to our story and UDOT time-lapse of the removal and slide for the 1700 East bridge over I-80 completed a year go:

Time-Lapse Video: Rapid Utah Bridge Replacement Condensed to 2 Minutes

And for those who want more time-lapse of bridge demolition and sliding, here’s our story from July about UDOT’s project on I-15 at Cedar City in which crews used Dawn dish liquid to smooth the hydraulic system used to slide the new bridge into place:

Time-Lapse Video: Dish Soap Aids Utah’s Million-Pound Bridge Slide