Tempe officials say a 150-foot portion of a bridge over Tempe Town Lake, which was damaged in a train derailment last week, will be detonated Sunday morning. 

The work will be conducted along the south side of the lake between Tempe Town Lake and Rio Salado Parkway between 7 and 9 a.m. Sunday, according to Tempe Fire Department Assistant Chief Andrea Glass.

She explained that the partial demolition involves putting charges around various parts of the bridge in addition to small incisions which will allow for the most damaged section of the bridge to drop below. 

The detonation will not impact the rest of the bridge, she noted. Officials did not provide an exact time for the detonation. 

Nearby residents were asked to evacuate on a voluntary basis. However, few relocated to the designated evacuation center early Sunday. 

Southwest Gas shut off services between 7 and 9 a.m. to Culinary Dropout, The Lodge Sasquatch Kitchen and the community pool area at 430 W. First St. 

Valley Metro light rail stations were delayed at Third Street and Mill Avenue and Center Parkway and Priest Drive.

Train derails, engulfs in flames

Eight to 10 cars carrying lumber and hazardous material derailed around 6 a.m. on a railroad bridge over the Tempe Town Lake Wednesday morning. 

The 102-car Union Pacific freight train engulfed in flames on the more than 100-year-old bridge causing the structure to partially collapse on the south end. 

Two of the three cars that collapsed on the bridge were carrying cyclohexanone. One tank car leaked 500 gallons of the chemical after derailment before officials secured the car Wednesday night, according to Tempe Fire and Medical Chief Greg Ruiz.

No one was injured by the flames, but fire officials said one person was treated for smoke inhalation.


Drone footage shows the aftermath of the freight train derailment and collapse of the Salt River Union Pacific Bridge at Tempe Town Lake.

Arizona Republic

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