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VIDEO: Oklahoma Transportation, Demolitions Workers Blast Unstable Rock Along Interstate 35

Engineers and demolition experts blast unstable rock from a formation in the Arbuckle Mountains after last month's rockslide along Interstate 35
Oklahoma Department of Transportation
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Engineers and demolition experts blast unstable rock from a formation in the Arbuckle Mountains after last month's rockslide along Interstate 35

Few things in this world are more exciting to watch than organized, controlled destruction.

Wednesday afternoon, the Oklahoma Department of Transportation detonated a series of small charges on a rock face along Interstate 35 in the Arbuckle Mountains. The project was postponed a day due to heavy rainfall across the state on Tuesday.

Colorado-based GeoStabilization International received an $870,000 contract to stabilize the rock formation using small charges and other mechanical methods. Once the debris is gone, they'll place rock bolts through the formation. Oklahoma-based Silver Star Construction received a $574,000 contract to haul away roughly 14,000 tons of debris.

Heavy rainfall from the remnants of Tropical Storm Bill caused a rockslide along I-35 near Turner Falls on June 18. Motorists were injured by debris falling from the rock face on the eastern side of the highway’s northbound lanes.

ODOT says it will likely be several months before the debris is removed and the rock formation is fully stabilized. Traffic has been diverted to the southbound side of the highway and is down to one lane in each direction.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H2OGXSVf7Qs

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Brian Hardzinski is from Flower Mound, Texas and a graduate of the University of Oklahoma. He began his career at KGOU as a student intern, joining KGOU full time in 2009 as Operations and Public Service Announcement Director. He began regularly hosting Morning Edition in 2014, and became the station's first Digital News Editor in 2015-16. Brian’s work at KGOU has been honored by Public Radio News Directors Incorporated (PRNDI), the Oklahoma Association of Broadcasters, the Oklahoma Associated Press Broadcasters, and local and regional chapters of the Society of Professional Journalists. Brian enjoys competing in triathlons, distance running, playing tennis, and entertaining his rambunctious Boston Terrier, Bucky.
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