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Arbuckle mountain side gets blasted with ODOT dynamite

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MURRAY COUNTY,Okla. -- Oklahoma Department Of Transportation says they're one step closer to reopening Interstate 35 Northbound, after a rockslide in June left the road dangerous and impassable.

Wednesday, engineers were supplied with explosives ready to get the project going.

Many of us have driven near the rockslide on I-35 north, and it's a traffic nightmare.

"It's crazy I've lived here all my life and I've never heard about the rock sliding or being blown up or anything," one driver said.

It's all the buzz at the Original Arbuckle Mountain Fried Pies.

"Not in the years I spent in Oklahoma and I've been here all my life, nothing like that," another driver said.

The pie business even had an uptick in customers.

"It has boosted up quite a bit since the rockslide and everything," Hunter Swartzbaugh manager of the fried pies business says.

It's been just short of a month since the slide, but planning to get the road reopened began immediately.

"Remnants of Tropical Storm Bill came over the area around June 18," Jay Earp, ODOT construction engineer for division 7 says.

As much as 10 inches of rain created a split in the hard rock above the soft rock along the northbound lane of I-35.

It was finally blasted Wednesday.

"If everything works as planned, which is a 35 percent chance, the overhang will fall straight down and take down a lot of the suspended rock," Earp said.

ODOT engineers put packaged explosives into tiny holes along the rockslide, and set it off with an electric detonator.

"Complete success from the safety aspect from an engineering aspect," Daniel Conn, Explosive Engineer and President of KESCO said. "About 400 pounds of explosives and it worked out well."

But the project is not done yet, ODOT says the interstate will be closed at least through August.
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