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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- Massive explosives are changing the landscape in eastern Jefferson County. On Friday, WDRB got a look inside the blasting zone that will soon be home to an east end bridge.
The blasting starts with the sound of a horn and then there's the boom! It is something the Harrods Creek Fire Department keeps on its radar. "Essentially the only time it really affects us is during the blasting," says Major Kent Kruer, with the Harrods Creek Fire Department.
Major Kruer says they need to know when and where the blasts will happen to make sure it doesn't interfere with the department's fire protection. That's why they work closely with construction crews.
Major Kruer says, "Usually five or 10 minutes before a blast occurs, they call the station, tell us that they're getting ready to blast so that we know."
The blasting started in June to help crews work on a new tunnel for the east end bridge. So far, crews have created a massive 40 foot deep hole near the intersection of US 42 and the Gene Snyder. The goal is to double that to 80 by December.
"At that time they will then be able to begin in earnest blasting to create the tunnel; the tunnel that will go beneath, extend Ky 841 and go beneath US 42," says Dan Hartlage, WVB East End Partners.
During the blasting, traffic is stopped for several minutes in both directions. However, later on in the project, that might change.
Hartlage says, "Once the blasting begins to go beneath US 42, traffic stops may not be necessary all the time because of where the blasting is occurring. It's hard to say, there will still be some traffic stops but not as often."
But for now, the traffic stops are twice daily, which is why the Harrods Creek Fire Department continues to monitor the blasting schedule online, just in case there's an emergency run at the same time.
"Our contingency for that is we have units from our station 2 that can respond and are coming from the other end and we can leave here and we can actually go this way," says Major Kruer.
Most of the blasting happens between 9 a.m. and 3 p.m. Starting next week, there will be several evening blasts. That's mainly to make sure the project stays on schedule.