Crunchers SMASH in Salmon Creek

by guest blogger Heidi Sause

I met a man today who operates a concrete cruncher.

I know what you’re thinking, and I agree – that sounds like the coolest job ever!  Concrete crunchers (technically, concrete processors) are built for maximum-strength, precision demolition work. Look at the jaws on this baby!

Cruncher jaws!
There are currently three crunchers parked in the I-205 median in Salmon Creek. During the day, they look like sleeping dinosaurs. At night, they’re burning the midnight oil to bite, tear, bend, twist and yes, – crunch – an old northbound I-5 on-ramp to smithereens. After two nights of work, the demolition crew has already removed half the bridge deck.

Half a bridge
I guess I should pause to explain why we’re tearing a ramp to bits.

The demolition work is part of a congestion-relief project in Salmon Creek. We’ve enlisted the crunchers because we need to remove an old on-ramp to make room for the new NE 139th Street interchange that’s being built over the I-5/I-205 junction. Also, The Hulk was busy.

In this photo, you can see the construction of the new interchange peeking out beneath the partially demolished ramp.

Old and New
Clark County drivers are patiently navigating a series of nighttime closures while the crunchers work to safely and efficiently remove the ramp. Crews have already removed half the bridge deck, and will spend the next four nights removing the spans over the roadway and the columns next to the interstate. Be sure to check the project website for the closure schedule and detour maps if you’re heading this way.

Fun fact: 100% of the concrete, steel and wood bits removed from the bridge are being shipped to plants to be recycled in future projects. See, Dr. Banner? You’re not the only one who gets to smash and be green! *Rimshot*