Monday mornings pretty much always make me feel like blowing things up. So watching videos about things blowing up -- or people blowing things up -- seems to be a perfect way to ease into the work week.
Happily for my now-improving mood, demolition experts demolished a 1930s-era steel bridge along US 281 in Marble Falls, Texas over the weekend, and someone was there to film it. I love how the first two passes of the video -- real-time and semi-slo-mo -- it's difficult to see exactly how the demo goes. But the third time, look closely under the bridge. You can totally see the detonator cords burning up ahead of the ignition of the shaped charges that brought the trusses down. The video also clearly demonstrates the difference between the speed of light in air and the speed of sound in air -- the flashes from the charges are long gone by the time the sound waves make it to the filming location. According to a fact sheet from the Texas Department of Transportation, steel from the bridge will be recycled into "beautification projects." I read elsewhere that it'll be turned into sculptures or other pieces of public artwork.
This isn't the first time we've written about bridge demos. A couple of years ago, we ran a Megapixels about a bridge demolition in Ohio and West Virginia (the bridge spanned the Ohio River). During reporting, we learned that it required some 153 pounds of explosive to bring down that suspension bridge. The demolition occurred in multiple phases: cut the suspension cables, destroy the roadway and then topple the towers. To my glee, that demolition has a slow-motion video as well.
I totally want to bring a Phantom HD camera to one of these demolitions. I bet the resultant footage would be totally killer.
Five amazing, clean technologies that will set us free, in this month's energy-focused issue. Also: how to build a better bomb detector, the robotic toys that are raising your children, a human catapult, the world's smallest arcade, and much more.