Broken Arrow's Tucson Street Bridge To Be Replaced

Tuesday, November 28th 2006, 10:00 am
By: News On 6

Broken Arrow city officials were surprised to find in a recent bridge inspection, deficiencies serious enough to take immediate action. Those officials are now asking drivers to take an alternate route while crews build a new bridge.

News on 6 anchor Tami Marler says Broken Arrow city workers closed the Tucson Street bridge between Aspen and Olive with very little warning for drivers. "I didn't know it was out.” Ron and Sharon Lancaster were planning to go straight up 121st Street to their favorite nursery. They were surprised to see this sign blocking their way.

About 4,000 drivers go across the Tucson Street bridge every day, but for the next 3 or 4 months, drivers are going to have to find another route. "This is something that the City of Broken Arrow takes seriously obviously as we work to make sure our roads are safe at all times." Keith Sterling with the city of Broken Arrow says the bridge, built in the 1940s, really began to show its age in a recent routine inspection.

The deficiencies they uncovered were serious enough to prompt city officials to immediately close the bridge. "Our crews determined that after looking at it and talking with inspectors that a new bridge needs to be put up. Not just fixed. Obviously safety's a top concern. We don't want anyone driving over an unsafe bridge."

Sterling says, city officials know it may be an inconvenience to drivers, but folks like the Lancasters say it's just a short drive out of the way. "A mile down, a mile over, a mile back." A small price to pay for safety.

Broken Arrow city engineers say the bridge passed Tulsa County inspection two years ago. Since then, they say federal guidelines have tightened, so the bridge had to be replaced, at a cost of about $125,000 for supplies.