Callaway said Wood was one of the first people to cross the bridge after it was completed. "That's what she tells me, anyway," he said.
As demolition crews made final checks on the wiring to the charges and a late morning snow squall blanketed the river, Thompson finally gave the order to start the countdown. "10...9...8...7...6," the crowd chanted in unison.
Henderson, Bassitt and Wood pulled down on the lever. There was a pause, followed by a flash on the steel girders of the span and the eruption of a huge cloud of black smoke. Then came a chest-thumping shock wave and a morning-shattering BOOM!
"It took my breath away!" one of the women remarked. A rainstorm of water kicked up by the splash of the bridge trusses into the river settled back to earth, and the span was in the water.
The whole thing will be repeated next week, on the Nitro side of the span.
Reach Rusty Marks at rustyma...@wvgazette.com or 304-348-1215.