Section of Scranton Bridge Collapses During Demolition

SCRANTON, Pa. -- A bridge demolition went faster than expected when part of the span came crashing down.

Part of a 100-year-old bridge collapsed Thursday morning in Scranton as PennDOT crews were working to slowly take the bridge down.

The collapse may speed up the project that's affecting drivers in Scranton.

While this wasn't the plan, no one was hurt and now the bridge demolition is ahead of schedule.

PennDOT shut down the Central Scranton Expressway several hours before the bridge demolition began. That was a good call.

"What was expected to take one or two days ended up taking one or two seconds this morning, around 5 o'clock in the morning," said PennDOT official James May. "They were hammering up top and the entire first span over top of the Central Scranton Expressway did collapse down onto itself. The reason that we closed the expressway and the reason that we took the safety precautions that we did was because we knew this would be a possibility. It was not the plan but we knew it was a possibility."

The demolition crew now a cleanup crew, scooping up the century-old remains of the Harrison Avenue bridge.

Nancy Talapa has become used to all the noise. She lives a few doors down from the demolition. When she heard that it was going faster than expected, she and her neighbors had to come take a look.

"I am so glad nobody was hurt, because when the construction people weren't expecting something, that could be scary," Talapa said.

One plan did go off without a hitch: state police and Scranton police were out directing traffic at intersections affected by the detour around the bridge demo.

Traffic was slow during the morning rush but it was moving. Since the demolition moved faster than expected, could PennDOT open up the expressway earlier than Monday morning?

"What's happening now is that it all fell down on the expressway at once, but there's just as much debris to clean up. So, we may end up being done a little bit early, but at this point we really don't know," May said.

This is just the first phase of the bridge demolition. Phase two includes the other approach to the bridge. In phase three, PennDOT plans to blow the center of the bridge.

2 comments

  • peatermoss

    The reason that we closed the expressway and the reason that we took the safety precautions that we did was because we knew this would be a possibility. It was not the plan but we knew it was a possibility.”

    Yeah right
    If you really thought that this was a possibility, then you would have put 3’ of dirt on the roadway below it, and not just 12”.
    That’s ok , we don’t need more patched roads to drive on.

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