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Shepherd pedestrian underpass detour blasting to begin April 20

ISSUED: 19 April 2012
MEDIA CONTACT: Valerie Owens
(Shepherd pedestrian underpass detour blasting to begin April 20)

Shepherdstown, WV--Shepherd University and its selected contractor, C. William Hetzer, Inc., have evaluated the best approach for creation of the detour road to support the construction of the Route 480 pedestrian underpass. This detour will be located on the Bavarian Inn property. The contractor recommended the use of blasting as the least disruptive and safest means of rock removal.

Blasting technologies have advanced significantly since the last time this method was utilized in any Shepherd University capital projects, as discussed during a public forum held by the University on Tuesday, April 17. In order to demonstrate to the community the safety and minimal noise and vibrations associated with this newer approach to blasting, a test blast was conducted on Wednesday, April 18, at 6:30 p.m. This test appeared to confirm that blasting would be the appropriate method for the rock removal as it would be the least disruptive approach.

Beginning Friday, April 20, C. William Hetzer, Inc., will begin removal of the rock utilizing blasting. Up to four short blasts could possibly occur each day as this rock is removed. A long siren will precede each blast, and a shorter siren following each blast will provide the "all clear" signal.

It is estimated that this process will be necessary for two weeks. Blasting will occur Monday through Friday, between the hours of 7:30 a.m. and sunset.

The full blasting plan, including credentials of the professional blasters and Hetzer's certificate of liability, is available for review on the University's website at

Any questions concerning the blasting and the pedestrian underpass construction project can be submitted through the underpass project website at or by contacting Shelli Dronsfield, assistant to the president, at 304-876-5107.


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