Westbound Lanes Of Bird Creek Bridge Closing In Rogers County

Monday, December 6th 2010, 2:09 pm
By: News On 6

NewsOn6.com & Craig Day, News On 6

ROGERS COUNTY, Oklahoma -- The Oklahoma Department of Transportation says due to concerns about the deteriorating conditions of the westbound State Highway 66 bridge over Bird Creek in Rogers County, east and westbound traffic will be detoured to the eastbound highway bridge.

The Oklahoma Transportation Commission approved an emergency $733,000 bid Monday morning to build detour lanes around the bridge. That will shift traffic onto the adjacent bridge.

The old bridge has seen better days, just ask Norman Spriggs.

"Sorry as hell," Spriggs, a Claremore resident, said.

Spriggs drives across the bridge several times a week, and each time, he wishes he didn't have to.

"It's rough. Should have been fixed a long time ago," he said.

Work is expected to begin on the detour on Wednesday, December 9, 2010 and take 20 days to complete.

ODOT says once the detour is in place, the westbound highway bridge will be closed.

The bridge was built in 1936 and has been narrowed to one lane since June of this year. Since 2008, this bridge has logged more than 40 emergency repairs to holes in the bridge deck or to problems with the truss structure.

The bridge itself is scheduled for replacement in 2012.

ODOT says oversize vehicles are urged to plan ahead before traveling over the state Highway 66 bridge.

During the detour construction, ODOT will still keep an eye on the bridge while people drive on it. If it is determined that the bridge isn't safe for traffic at any time, all lanes will immediately be closed and an alternate temporary detour route will be announced.

4/19/2010 Related story: Future Of State Highway Bridge In Rogers County Subject Of Tuesday Meeting