Homeless Encampment May Have Damaged Downtown Tulsa Overpass


Wednesday, December 18th 2019, 10:53 pm
By: Justin Shrair


A police officer said some homeless people could be damaging a Tulsa overpass.

Sgt. Brandon Davis with Tulsa police's downtown Impact unit took News On 6 under a bridge near Greenwood and Archer.

"A lot of times we see drug paraphernalia, sometimes drugs,” Davis said.

Davis said him and his team have been trying to move the homeless off the adjacent railroad property.

He said they came back to check on things and they were told to check under the bridge.

“Suspected drug deals and people having sex openly up here in front of people. We came out to see who was here and what was going on,” Davis said.

Davis said his team walked up this embankment and saw needles, trash and much more.

“There's solid pieces of steel up with holes in them now," Davis said.

Davis said some people who are living under this bridge are lighting fires, to stay warm and cook food. He said the fires burn the paint off the metal supports, which leads to rust, which leads to it deteriorating.

In 2017 the bridge in Atlanta collapsed after it caught fire.

"The charred area and started looking at some of the metal supports and the beams and saw things have been eroded away,” Davis said.

Davis said he contacted the Oklahoma Department of Transportation. While someone from ODOT said crews came out and determined the bridge is safe. ODOT also said they believe much of that fire damage is more than a year old. Davis said more needs to be done.

“We need to come up with some type of solution to fix this problem, the homeless problem, it’s going to have to be multifaceted,” Davis said.

There are many resources for those who are homeless in the Tulsa area:

Tulsa Day Center

John 3:16 Mission

Salvation Army