Hole Forms On I-44 Bridge

Monday, February 26th 2007, 8:45 pm
By: News On 6

Some drivers on Interstate-44 were slowed down Monday after a piece of the bridge at 161st East Avenue collapsed. News On 6 anchor Craig Day reports this isn't the only time there’s been trouble on that section of highway.

When a portion of the I-44 westbound bridge over 161st East Avenue, crumbled and fell to the ground, the highway department was quickly brought in. And it wasn't just any pothole.

"This other portion today is actually a part of the driving surface, so it's definitely a priority one when something like that happens," ODOT Spokesman Cole Perryman said.

The damage was alarming to motorists. Crews closed down one lane of the Interstate while they fixed the 3 x 8-foot section.

"They shut it down and got traffic control out there and began to section out the portion and repair it," Perryman said.

Once the concrete dries, this repair job shouldn't slowdown motorists heading westbound on Interstate-44 toward Tulsa. But it does raise questions about the durability of the road. Back on February 8th, concrete fell from the I-44 Bridge onto 161st East Avenue. That time it was along the eastbound lane. The largest chunk was about 4 feet long, a foot deep and weighed about 100 pounds. Highway crews have put up fencing to keep any further pieces from falling to the road below.

Highway workers say the road is just deteriorating with age because of the high volume of traffic along the interstate.

No drivers were hurt in either case. ODOT hopes to make permanent improvements to that stretch of the Interstate, but it won't be for several more years.