Replacing the city of Tulsa's oldest bridges

Tuesday, March 15th 2005, 12:45 pm
By: News On 6

In three weeks, Tulsa voters decide a major bond issue. The $250-million package includes money to make repairs and replace some of the city's worst bridges.

News on 6 reporter Emory Bryan a number of bridges across the city are old and crumbling. The bond issue package includes money to replace several bridges, and $1.5-million to replace at 52nd and Harvard. This bridge is hardly noticeable. It spans Joe Creek and handles far more traffic than it was designed to carry. The city wants to replace it because it's too narrow on top and beginning to crumble underneath.

Paul Zachary with the City of Tulsa: "We're going to go out and load rate those things if we don't do some work on these, but these came out of the report as being the top priority to hit for either safety issues or you go any further, we may have to close the bridge."

The city rates every bridge every year. Like a bridge at 48th and Elwood - the ones that made the list are the worst in the city. This bridge is a narrow two lanes - and the guard rails shows signs of collisions from the semis that cross it every day.

Of the 11 bridges on the list - this one isn't one of the worst, but it's the most expensive to replace. It will cost $1.9-million to replace this bridge over the Burlington Northern Santa Fe rail line. The bond issue would provide the money to replace 11 bridges at a cost of $7,750,000. The bond would pay for repairs on 30 bridges for $3.3-million. All together, that's more than $11-million worth of bridge work.

The city says that's just a small portion of the money that's needed for bridge work, but it would pay to fix the bridges that are safety hazards - and make repairs to others - allowing the city to put off replacing them for another 10 to 15 years. The money to pay for all this bridge work would come from property taxes, over the next 5 years.

The vote to do this work is April 5th.
Bridges to be replaced...

(Rating is a 1-100 scale, with 100 being best)

Charles Page Blvd near Santa Fe Avenue (rated 38) $350,000
Easton Street near 38th W Avenue (rated 49) $350,000
4200 North Lewis (rated 42) $750,000
700 North Utica (rated 58) $1,500,000
700 Block East 46th Street North (rated 40) $800,000
500 Block 56th Street North (rated 59) $300,000
4800 South Elwood (rated 21) $500,000
2700 West 41st Street South (rated 51) $1,900,000
New Haven, west of Yale, south of Pine (rated 34) $400,000
Pine, west of Yale, near Sandusky (rated 51) $400,000
5200 South Harvard (rated 28) $500,000

Total $7,750,000

For more information about the entire bond issue proposal you can check out