The German authorities today carried out the controlled blasting of the Rahmede bridge (west of the country), 450 meters long and up to 70 meters high, weighing some 17,000 tons, part of the A45 motorway and closed to traffic since December 2021 for its poor condition.
The operation was consummated as planned at 10:00 GMT on the dot, in the midst of a notable media display and broadcast live on two national news television channels -the public Tageschau24 and the private NTV-, in addition to the regional WDR-.
For the flyer, 150 kilos of explosives were used, distributed among 2,035 holes drilled mainly in its four main pillars, according to the instructions of the expert Michael Schneider.
The controlled explosion was preceded by a series of warning shots, as well as a final preparatory shot, 30 seconds before the final, as television cameras followed Schneider's movements.
The Minister of Transport, the liberal Volker Wissing, attended the operation, who has guaranteed that the construction of a new viaduct to replace it is a priority project for his government, after 17 months of traffic interruption on a national highway of great importance for road transport.
The region that surrounds that section of the highway has been affected by traffic diversions to adjacent roads during all this time, among complaints of problems in the transport of goods, pollution and noise by the affected populations.
The A45 runs between the populous 'Land' of North Rhine-Westphalia, the most populous in the country, with some 50 urban centers and crossed by the largest highway junction in the country, and the neighboring state of Saarland, bordering France.
The controlled flyer concentrated not only the expectation of the media, but also of residents of the region, for whom a kind of live broadcast was organized some 300 meters away in the town of Lüdenscheid.
The expert Schneider's plan was fulfilled to the millimeter and the section of bridge collapsed cleanly on the planned bed, among a great cloud of dust and concrete.
Thus, the phrase "Lasst uns Brücken bauen" -"Let's build bridges"-, painted in broad strokes on the asphalt of the viaduct, as a reflection of the expectations of the population and carriers that the new bridge is built, disappeared.
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