Bixby Residents Want Bridge Replaced

Tuesday, April 1st 2008, 11:08 pm
By: News On 6

Monday's flash flooding washed out roads, as well as several bridges, across Green Country.  The News On 6's Chris Wright reports people in one Bixby neighborhood say the aftermath of the severe weather has left them in a dangerous situation.

For the 11 families that live in a rural Bixby neighborhood,  one bridge is the only way in and out.  Much of that road was washed out Monday.  Crews are working to restore the surface, but those who live nearby say the repairs won't solve the problem.

"I think that they're putting a band-aid on it. I will be surprised if they do anything else, because I don't trust the City of Bixby," said Bixby's June Skaggs.

June Skaggs, as well as her husband David, who is disabled, are convinced that the bridge they travel over every day is on the verge of collapsing.

"That's a big fear, just getting across it alive," said Bixby's David Skaggs.

The City of Bixby admits there are structural problems, and the bridge is slated to be replaced.  But, the repairs may cost $400,000, and because it serves so few families, coming up with the cash may be tough.

The City of Bixby says its first priority is to stabilize the roadway before they start worrying about a long-term solution to fix this bridge."

"So we will be keeping an eye on it until we have a permanent solution identified," said city engineer Jared Cottle.

It's an explanation that doesn't sit well with residents.

"I'm not into hearing about when are we gonna have the money for this, that doesn't make us feel better," said one resident.

Many worry that the next storm may be the last the bridge will be able to withstand.

Officials say the bridge is safe to use, but Bixby schools aren't taking any chances.  School buses will not be crossing it from now on.  Children will instead be dropped off on the other side of the bridge.