A Landmark Lesson

In another post I asked this of preservationists:

How do preservationists feel about watching the demolition of a bridge they fought to save? Is it a once-in-a-lifetime type of situation or more of an I-can’t-bear-to-watch issue or more like I-will-not-dignify-this-decision-by-watching-it? What lessons could preservationists learn from watching it?

So, would you watch the bridge? Did you watch the bridge demolition? If you are interested, here are a few videos: 1) from Now Public, 2) from You Tube, 3) from WPTZ news.

Undecided at first, after a few conversations with fellow preservationists, it seemed that the demolition of such an important landmark would be something worth watching, mostly because it serves as a sort of reality check or a bitter reminder of how impermanent everything is. Hopefully such an event would not be commonplace in our lives.  Since I’m not in Vermont this week, I watched it online and on television. Here on Long Island, Fox News showed a (very small) segment on the bridge, mostly the demolition. Watching the demolition, my mouth dropped. It is such a shock to see an engineered structure standing and just seconds later, behind a cloud of smoke and dust, it disappears. And I saw it without the sound of an actual explosion. And it’s strange to think that the bridge is no longer there; it is gone forever in a matter of seconds. It certainly was a heartbreaking reality.

My next question relates to the environmental effects. I have not been able to find the answers yet, but what are the consequences of the bridge falling in the lake? Obviously, demolition experts have overseen this event, but how are the effects mitigated and how is the process decided? If you know the answer, please share.

Did you see the bridge demolition in person? Please share your experience; I’m very interested.

Most of all, let’s hope that we all learn and apply lessons from the Lake Champlain Bridge (1929-2009).


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