The Oklahoma Department of Transportation reports an inspection of state highway system bridges within a 60-mile radius of the epicenter of Saturday’s earthquake found no problems.
The 5.8-magnitude earthquake near Pawnee on September 3, 2016 was felt in at least seven states and caused damage in several communities in Oklahoma.
ODOT says its policy is to inspect state highway bridges in a 30-mile radius following an earthquake of 5.4 to 5.8 magnitudes. It checked 180 state highway bridges immediately following the quake. That inspection revealed only minor cosmetic damage on two bridges, State Highway 15 over Red Rock Creek in Noble County and State Highway 108 over the Cimarron Turnpike in Payne County. ODOT says the bridges are structurally safe and remain open to traffic.
ODOT said it expanded its inspection radius to 60-miles from the epicenter on Wednesday, after the U.S. Geological Survey upgraded the quake's magnitude from 5.6 to 5.8. ODOT inspected another 175 bridges over two days and found no damage.
“We are very conservative and deliberate in our approach to bridge inspections following an earthquake because our first priority is the safety of the traveling public,” said Mike Patterson, ODOT executive director. “With this weekend’s earthquake being the strongest recorded in Oklahoma, we inspected bridges in a greater radius than our policy requires.”
ODOT says it recently went through a rigorous process to develop an earthquake inspection policy.