What went up -- 104 years ago -- will come down today.
The Lowry Avenue Bridge, a two-lane span connecting north and northeast Minneapolis over the Mississippi River, will succumb to the demolisher's charges at about 9 a.m. to make way for its successor in 2011. The blasts will free the steel structure from its piers, allowing gravity to pull the pieces into the river.
The two-lane bridge has been closed for more than a year, after being found structurally deficient. In 1958, in middle age, the steel open-grate bridge was substantially rebuilt on its original piers.
There are no public places for spectators to view the collapse because the nearby river banks are lined with private properties, said explosives expert Lisa Kelly.
A 1,000-foot safety perimeter around the bridge in both north and northeast Minneapolis will be enforced. The sky above the bridge will be patrolled as well, said Kelly, of Advanced Explosives Demolition Inc., the company hired to level the bridge. River traffic will be blocked by barges.
Residents near the bridge are being instructed to stay in their homes and away from windows.
Warning sirens will start to sound 10 minutes before the detonation.
Construction of the $80 million replacement bridge begins in October.