Crews resume work on I-40 bridge; feds agree on spending bill

Friday, June 7th 2002, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) _ Crews resumed work Friday to remove a dangling section of the collapsed Interstate 40 bridge after state officials and relatives for a family killed in the Arkansas River reached a compromise.

The Oklahoma Department of Transportation halted demolition work Thursday by order of a Muskogee judge. Lawyers representing survivors of three of the 14 people killed in the May 26 accident at Webbers Falls requested the halt so that their representatives could examine the bridge.

The family later agreed that demolition could continue as long as their own inspectors could view each piece of rubble taken from the bridge.

The state Department of Transportation initially estimated it could take six months to repair the bridge at a cost of $15 million.

Department spokeswoman Terri Angier said Friday officials now think that crews working around the clock could put the bridge back in service by mid-August.

The U.S. Department of Transportation has provided Oklahoma with $3 million for the initial stages of the bridge repairs. Early Friday, the U.S. Senate passed a bill earmarking an additional $12 million to complete the repairs.