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What happens when a huge bridge falls 100' into a river? Tsunami! Gather up your nerve and your sense of adventure for an all-new way to experience a dynamite-packed implosion. Tuesday July 13, the the old PA Turnpike bridge at Harmarville will drop into the Allegheny River like a sack of potatoes, and we'll be there, bobbing on the water, 1000' away, watching it go down!

Bring food and drink, noisemakers, video cameras, marine radios & police scanners, flags, crazy hats, Frisbees & beach balls; it's a goofy event, so come prepared!

We'll launch from the Deer Creek boat launch in Harmarville, one mile from the bridge. From Pittsburgh, take Rt. 28 to the Harmarville exit. Keep right onto Rt. 910 and then turn right onto Freeport Road. 500' ahead, turn left onto Wenzel Drive (look for the Harmar Marina and "No Outlet" signs) and cross the railroad tracks. Meet in the parking lot near the launching ramp. Note - everyone should have a DCNR or PA Fish & Boat Commission launch permit sticker on their boats. Click HERE for some nearby locations to pick one up.

We'll paddle upriver and then hang out on the river, waiting for the big moment. When will that moment be? 10:00 AM, unless there's a delay. If anyone is late, go upriver and cross over between the islands to the other side of the river, you'll see us.

Thrills! Spills! Mayhem! Destruction! Isn't THAT worth a day off work?

Tsunami FAQ

Q: What time are we meeting?
A: Try to arrive by 8:45 to start staging your gear on the ramp. We'll try to start launching boats at 9:00 AM.

Q: How far do we have to paddle?
A: Less than a mile - the trip is beginner friendly. All types of kayaks are welcome.

Q: When are they blowing up the bridge?
A: The published time is 10:00 AM, but with demolitions, there can always be delays.

Q: How close can we get?
A: They've published conflicting info for the river closure distance. They may push us back further than 1000', you never know. There's a gently sloping shoreline on either side. If we have to, we can take out and watch from shore.

Q: Will there really be a huge wave, or is this a bunch of hype?
A: "Tsunami" is probably just the trip leader's schtick, but you never know!

Q: What if I'm late?
A: Put in at the launch, paddle upriver a short distance, and then pass between the islands, moving from the Harmarville side of the river to the Oakmont side. You'll see us nearby.

Join or login to comment.

  • A former member
    A former member

    Great event!

    July 14, 2010

  • Ken S.

    enjoyed being part of this Pittsburgh happening. Probably saw better view of the Bridge coming down on the news last evening, but it doesn't detract from actually being there. The leader, Tom, did a great job organizing the event and keeping us informed of what we were seeing.

    July 14, 2010

  • Michael C- A.

    This was a very unusual kayak trip. I was surprised by how much louder the bridge was when it was blown up than when the 3 rivers stadium was blown up. I like to watch these kind of things. I did not see any Tsunami, but it was still fun.

    July 14, 2010

  • Jack R

    Mike, thank you for organizing this event. You did a great job with managing the group, and supplying information about the event. It was a perfect way to start the day!

    Best Regards,

    July 14, 2010

  • Mike C

    YouTube video at Not a great video, but they caught us by surprise, giving a 30-second warning on the marine radio, then blowing the sucker up just a few seconds later!

    July 13, 2010

  • Mike C

    18 boats capsized in the huge wave, many paddlers were pulled from the water, and one is still missing. Wish we could have gotten closer!

    July 13, 2010

  • debra

    We had the best live view, and it went off as planned. I kind of thought the bridge would sink into the water not just be at water level. The wave dissipated before it got to us. I seemed like everyone enjoyed the show.

    July 13, 2010

  • Mike C

    A friend and I paddled under the bridge on Saturday. Workers were strapping explosives to the bridge, perched on 60'-high man lifts sitting on barges in the middle of the river. Crazy.

    July 12, 2010

  • Mike C

    Pam, sit-on-tops will work fine!

    July 11, 2010

  • Jared

    Tsunami will be a new experience!

    July 1, 2010

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