Drivers Concerned As Part Of Highway 51 Continues To Crumble

Wednesday, May 25th 2016, 10:51 pm

A crumbling stretch of Highway 51 is sinking closer to the left lane of traffic.

Pictures from 2015 show the asphalt starting to slide and the problem has only gotten worse, and drivers are worried.

A stretch of Highway 51 between Sand Springs and Mannford is slowly crumbling, as traffic drives on in the fast lane.

“It's really unsafe for anybody that's traveling that,” Mannford resident Brandon Miller said.

The right lane of westbound 51 has been closed since July when the asphalt started sliding. It's gotten considerably worse since then.

Miller said, “You can tell it's starting to get into the other lane that's open right now.”

It looks like the right lane of the highway has dropped roughly three feet, and the crumbling asphalt is less than three feet from stretching into the left lane of traffic.

“It catches ya off guard cause it's wavy down the road and all, and you're thinking it's just gonna keep getting wavy into your lane,” Miller said.

The Oklahoma Department of Transportation reworked this part Highway 51 in 2010, but ODOT said this specific area has caused problems in the past. It said soil and underlying layers couldn't handle all of last year's record rainfall, causing day-by-day deterioration.

ODOT said it did geotechnical soil testing and found all the soil under the highway will have to be removed and replaced. The project will cost $1.6 million and goes up for bid in August.

While there's no start date set for construction, it likely won't begin until next year.

“It’s just very dangerous,” Miller said. “It's a road that needs to be repaired before somebody gets hurt.”