ALEXANDRIA, La. (AP) — After 79 years, the O.K. Allen Bridge linking Alexandria and Pineville is gone.

Engineers blew the bridge's superstructure into 14 pieces at 8 a.m. Saturday morning, the Town Talk reports, with the span crashing into the Red River seconds after a thunderous roar of explosives.

Hundreds of spectators watched. It's the third historic span crossing the Red River at Alexandria to be removed.

The neighboring Curtis-Coleman Bridge, which carries U.S. 71, was closed during the demolition. A second span of that bridge will be built on the site of the O.K. Allen.

The mangled remains of the bridge will be fished from the river and sold as scrap. The concrete piers that held the bridge will be demolished later.

Oscar K. Allen was Louisiana's governor from 1932 to 1936.

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