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Last Updated: Tuesday, 29 August 2006, 05:45 GMT 06:45 UK
US commuter blows up bottleneck
By Sarah Morris
BBC News, Washington

Daniel Ruefly triggers the destruction of Woodrow Wilson bridge
Daniel Ruefly triggered the bridge's destruction

A commuter in the US has taken his revenge for three decades' worth of traffic jams - by blowing up the bridge that made his daily journey misery.

Daniel Ruefly was judged the driver who had suffered most from congestion at Washington DC's notorious and reviled Woodrow Wilson drawbridge.

It was a well-known traffic blackspot on the huge 10-lane beltway that circles the capital.

But at midnight Mr Ruefly flicked the switch that brought it crashing down.

Tonnes of explosives blew the bridge into pieces, making way for a new, higher bridge, double the width, which should end the massive tailbacks.

Mr Ruefly was picked for the job as he was judged to have had the worst commuting experience there.

Woodrow Wilson bridge, Washington DC, is destroyed
A series of explosions brought the bridge crashing down

Not only did he spend three hours a day sitting in traffic, largely thanks to the bridge, but it nearly cost him his life.

The ambulance taking him to hospital after a serious car accident got stuck there and he almost died.

He said he did not bear a grudge against the bridge but it was truly an honour to be responsible for it going up in smoke.


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