Demolition crews used around 120 kilograms (265 pounds) of explosives on Sunday to destroy the Rinsdorf viaduct on Germany's A45 autobahn near Wilnsdorf in the state of North Rhine-Westphalia. The bridge was 70-meters-tall (230 feet) and spanned 500 meters (1,640 feet).
The blast sets a new record in Germany, which has never blown up a bridge so high before.
Onlookers gather for 'picture-book blast'
The 55-year-old structure came crashing down at 11 a.m local time (10 a.m. GMT). After demolition expert Michael Schneider gave the signal to detonate, the bridge's 16 pillars buckled and the road surface fell to the ground.
"It was a picture-book blast," said Schneider.
The collapse was orchestrated so the debris would land in a prepared bed and cause no damage to the replacement bridge located right next to it. The new bridge was inaugurated in December 2021.
Dozens of onlookers watched on in awe as the dilapidated viaduct came crashing down.
Some 60 viaducts are in need of replacing or urgent works in North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany's most populous state, with 15 currently under construction or scheduled to have work done to them this year.
The DPA news agency contributed to this report.
Written by: John Silk
Edited by: Darko Janjevic