A 25-mile detour is going to cause big headaches for some Green Country drivers. The Highway 151 bridge over the Keystone Dam is now closed for repairs.
And it won't be back open anytime soon. The $15.6 million project to replace the entire bridge deck could go as long as 13 months.
"For our Park Rangers to go through their daily inspections and their daily rounds, they're going to have to travel that detour, as well, so we understand the pain," said Sara Goodeyon, of the Army Corps of Engineers.
The reason they're closing the whole bridge down, and not just letting traffic pass through on one lane, is because they're building a crane on the bridge. It couldn't handle the weight of traffic and the equipment.
All of this translates to extra time in the car for drivers, who could face a detour of up to 25 miles.
Allen Morgan is an avid fisherman from Sapulpa, who fishes in the river at the base of the dam often. He doesn't think the construction will affect the catch of fish, at all, but he knows it will be a lot tougher getting from one side of the river to the other.
"Weather conditions, bite conditions, sometimes you may want to change sides, and you can't do that now without driving several miles," Morgan said. "Other than that, if it needs to be done, it needs to be done. So, we'll just have to put up with it until it's done."
Goodeyon said the contractor, Kiewit Corporation, has hired about 20 percent local on their crew. The rest of the crew from out of town will be staying for the duration of the project, which she said could benefit towns like Sand Springs and Mannford.
"Staying at lodging, they're going out to eat at local restaurants, so we're just happy to know that they are going to benefit the local economy as much as they can," Goodeyon said.
The Corps of Engineers told us 13 months is a safe estimate for the project, but they hope to be done sooner.