Heavy Rains Close Bridge

Wednesday, May 7th 2008, 10:08 pm
By: News On 6

All the rain has finally done in a bridge on Old Highway 88, north of Claremore. News On 6 anchor Lori Fullbright reports the bridge was closed on Wednesday afternoon and will stay that way until it can be fixed.

The bridge doesn't look too bad from the top. However, it's a totally different picture when you look under the bridge. The wall on the south side has given way and has fallen down into water and the erosion just keeps getting worse.

"The last two years, we've had not just rain, we've had floods in Rogers County. It's really impacted all our older, this is a WPA bridge, a 1950 bridge, it's really done its job, but, now it's starting to catch up with us," said Bob Anderson of the Rogers Co. Area Emergency Management.

When county road crews spotted the trouble spots, they called the county commissioner and he made the decision to shut down the bridge until it can be fixed.

The road has a lot of heavy traffic, including school buses and ranchers hauling cattle and they don't want to take a chance.

Of course, for folks like Virgil Acrod and his wife, it's a bit of a pain to find out like this.

"I live at Oologah and now I have to drive all the way back," said Acrod.

Some drivers just ignored the signs and drove toward the bridge, only to find out the road really is closed.

The goal is to get it re-opened in a week, if all goes well.

"I've made some calls looking for a box culvert, a pre-fab box culvert to replace it. Be here tomorrow as soon as the water is down. We're not gonna inconvenience people any longer than we have to," said Rogers Co. Commissioner Dan Delozier.

Everyone is warned not to try to drive around the signs and cross over the bridge. The water had risen two feet in just a couple of hours on Wednesday and if the erosion continues at this pace, it could go at anytime.