Demolition crews are scheduled to detonate an underwater section of the old Johns Pass bridge Thursday morning, causing a minor inconvenience to motorists and mariners.
The channel under the bridge will be closed to boaters at 7 a.m., one hour before the detonation, said Jeff Jensen, a spokesman for Treasure Island. As of 7:50 a.m., motorists and pedestrians will be prevented from crossing the channel on the bridge that replaced the old span.
Most of the old bridge has been demolished and carted away, including the entire southbound span, said Bruce Hasbrouck, vice president of Faller, Davis and Associates, a Tampa company that has been providing environmental oversight for the project.
The above-water section of the northbound span has been demolished and removed, Hasbrouck said. The work Thursday will be on a section of the northbound span that is under water, he said.
Before the detonation, the Coast Guard and the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission will check the waters by sea and air to ensure no protected species are in the area, Jensen said.
Boaters will have to maintain a distance of 2,265 feet before the controlled explosion, and everyone on land will have to maintain a distance of 1,000 feet, Jensen said.
Roughly 10 minutes after the implosion, cars and pedestrians will be allowed back on the new bridge, Jensen said, and the channel will be reopened to boaters 10 to 20 minutes after that, Jensen said.
As with the previous detonations, onlookers will not hear anything. The only visible signs of a detonation will be a slight disturbance in the water, Jensen said.