OAKLAND (CBS SF) – Part of the old Bay Bridge may be brought down with explosives.

Caltrans says the explosives would be used to remove a large concrete pillar from the old eastern span.

“We’re looking at controlled charges. Hundreds of small controlled charges. Placed around the pier, at the floor of the Bay,” Leah Robinson-Leach told KPIX 5.

Backers of the plan say the explosion would be a faster, more economical alternative to piecemeal demolition.

“It appears to be the quickest, most efficent, and least impactful process to the environment,” Robinson-Leach said.

Here’s a look at the different demolition options Caltrans is considering.

What’s left of the roadway will be removed under the plan, and the implosion would get rid of the big pier.  Debris will collapse into a hole made by other charges in the ground.

Traditionally engineers put a big metal tube around underwater piers, drain out the water, and lower work crews with big power tools knock the thing down.


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