Crowds Watch Demise of Missouri River Bridge in Bismarck

Mon November 17, 2008 - Midwest Edition
James Macpherson - Associated Press

BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) A North Dakota state chemist whose name was drawn from a hat has pressed a button to demolish a historic bridge over the Missouri River.

Ryan Johnson said the demise of the old Liberty Memorial Bridge in Bismarck on Oct. 29 was “a far cry from blowing up firecrackers.”

The span was the first to carry cars across the Missouri. It was built in 1922 and meant to last 50 years. It has been replaced by a new $60 million bridge to the south.

Crowds lined up to watch the demolition. It blasted the last two sections of the bridge into the water. Together they were about as long as three football fields.

The first of the three sections was destroyed earlier this month.