'Need for Speed' Day 3: Fiery car thrown over 13th Street Bridge

spedersen@ledger-enquirer.comJune 6, 2013 

Now that’s something you don’t see every day.

As part of a climactic scene for “Need for Speed,” a car was set on fire on the Phenix City side of the 13th Street Bridge on Thursday and thrown over onto the rocks south of the bridge.

A large crane was used to carry the car over the railing so the bridge wasn’t structurally damaged.

Rain delayed the production crew’s efforts to shoot the scene, which used a low-flying helicopter to shoot some footage.

“Need for Speed,” a DreamWorks Production film based on a popular video game, has been in Columbus since Monday afternoon. Most of the footage has come from the bridge, but they’ve also shot scenes on Manchester Expressway and Interstate 185, going south toward Victory Drive.

The I-185 scenes were to be shot from 8 p.m. Thursday to 6 a.m. Friday.

Friday the crew is scheduled to shoot from 2 to 8 p.m. This is the description from the production’s schedule:

Film crew is on riverbank of Phenix City side until nightfall. After dark, crew will move back on bridge and film the last part of the scene, which involves emergency vehicles converging on crash scene. At some point during night filming, a low-flying helicopter will fly above the bridge.

The film company is scheduled to wrap things up Saturday, but it’s unclear if the rain will push the schedule back.

About 50-100 people were at Phenix Plaza around lunchtime to catch a glimpse of the production. Dummies were reportedly used for these crash scenes.

Traffic is creating a rather long delay in travel. Readers have reported the Oglethorpe Bridge has had traffic backed up all the way to Highway 431 in Phenix City. The Dillingham Street Bridge, which has taken a lot of the downtown traffic from 13th Street Bridge, is heavily populated at most hours of the day. Drivers are reporting delays up to 45 minutes getting in and out of Columbus and Phenix City.

Since the beginning of filming, a Columbus Police Department mobile command unit has been sitting on the Columbus end of the 13th Street Bridge.

“Incident Management” is written on its side along with the words, “command, control, communications.”

Police Maj. Julius Graham said the vehicle is used for planning and direction.

“We bring it out for all big events and for emergencies,” Graham said.

There is communication and surveillance equipment. It has satellite capability.

“It is all about being prepared,” Graham said.

— Larry Gierer contributed to this report.

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