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Public Meeting Set on Bridge Demolition

A public information meeting on the ongoing demolition of the old Woodrow Wilson Bridge will be held at Lyles-Crouch Elementary School, 530 S. St. Asaph St., Tuesday, Aug. 22, from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. The detonation of the bridge’s steel beams is presently scheduled for Aug. 24, Thursday/Friday night, after midnight, according to Bridge Project spokespersons. Removal of the concrete deck on the Virginia approach to the old Woodrow Wilson Bridge passed the halfway mark last week, according to Michelle Holland, public affairs manager, WWB Project. This section extends from “the old draw span to the Virginia shoreline,” Holland said.

In addition to the large “muncher” which is removing the concrete and steel reinforcing rebars, “there are two crushers on site that are breaking the deck into small pieces” before they are loaded on to trucks and hauled away. The mangled rebars are also placed on trucks by the muncher for removal.

Recemtly a new element in the demolition process was installed at four locations in south Old Town. They are air monitors equipped with sensors that sample the air for a variety of particulates.

Two of the sensors are located north of the bridge, one on South Lee Street extended and the other at St. Mary’s School which is located at the corner of Green and South Royal streets.

These devices measure such things as wind speed and direction, temperature, and humidity. They record that data 24/7. Once it is recorded, the data is downloaded and read by environmental inspectors each week so that it can be analyzed and any adjustments can be made if needed, according to Michael Baker, environmental manager, WWB Project.

“To compliment this air monitoring effort, our environmental inspectors are also doing visual capacity readings twice a day during demolition. Efforts to minimize dust will continue during all demolition activities through continual watering and sweeping of the demolition areas, as well as on Jones Point Drive,” Holland said.