Slow-Motion Video Of A Bridge Exploding Is The Best Way To Start The Week

The Fort Steuben Bridge is brought down by a planned explosion Tuesday, Feb. 21, 2012 in Steubenville, Ohio. The Ohio Department of Transportation closed the 83-year-old Fort Steuben Bridge three years ago because of deteriorating conditions and its limited use. (AP Photo/The Herald Star, Michael D. McElwain) Michael D. McElwain

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.

Here’s another angle, with even better slo-mo.

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.