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MARBLE FALLS — Recent rains have pushed the date to demolish the remaining piers of the old U.S. 281 bridge to April 5.

The Texas Department of Transportation and contractor Archer Western said the blast is scheduled “most likely” about 1:30 p.m. or 2 p.m.

“The timing for this blast is harder to predict because the charges must be placed inside the piers the morning of the blast to avoid any possible effects of water on the charges,” TxDOT spokesperson Kelli Reyna said.

The National Weather Service forecast a sunny day April 5 with a high near 76.

Rain on April 2-3 was cited as the reason to delay the blast.

The initial plans scheduled the blast for the last week of March, but after the March 17 explosion that took out the metal span of the bridge damaged telecommunications, officials decided to take a second look at the pier demolition.

Reyna said the exact time of the April 5 blast is rather fluid, but crews will do it during off-peak travel hours to minimize traffic congestion. Officials will stop southbound traffic at U.S. 281 and First Street in Marble Falls and will stop northbound traffic at U.S. 281 and CR 415 for a short period before, during and after the blast.

Like the March 17 truss implosion, fish near the area will be moved downstream prior to the blast by officials with the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department.

The explosives will be placed underwater. The blast should break the concrete piers into pieces that crews will pick up with specialized buckets attached to cranes.

Once the piers are demolished and the debris is removed from the lake, construction can begin on the second, southbound bridge. The project remains scheduled to be completed in the fall of 2014.