BIXBY, Oklahoma - Phase one of three Vision 2025 projects that are expected to remove about 900 acres from the flood plain in Bixby began Tuesday, May 27.

Bixby City Engineer Jared Cottle said crews will start work to increase the drainage capacity of three of the five bridges on 131st Street between Memorial Drive and Garnett Road.

The stretch of 131st Street between Garnett and Mingo will be closed to through traffic until the middle of June as crews work on those bridges. Then crews will shift to the section of 131st Street between Memorial and Mingo which will be closed until the start of the next school year.

"We do plan to have 131st Street open for through traffic before school starts," Cottle said.

One bridge between Mingo and Memorial has been found structurally deficient and will be replaced.

"It's a fairly old bridge with wooden pilings and has weathered," he said. "We will not be putting any pilings back; it will all be reinforced concrete."

When the bridges are complete, the next phase of the project is to widen and excavate along the east side of Haikey Creek. Then finally, a levee will be built about 500 feet west of the creek.

"I'm hopeful that we will have it all complete in 18 to 24 months, but there are a couple of other hurdles we have to get over with FEMA on the flood plain aspects," Bixby City Engineer Jared Cottle said Tuesday.

When complete, the Vision 2025 projects should remove about 900 acres from the flood plain west of Haikey Creek, he said.