Jim Inhofe promised Monday that the federal government will
provide funding necessary to rebuild the I-40 bridge in Webbers
Transportation Department estimates bridge repairs will cost
Highway Administration already has committed $3 million to Oklahoma,
to be used for federal emergency relief funds. The U.S. Senate
passed a supplemental appropriation Friday to provide $12 million
to repair the bridge that was struck by a barge May 26. The
bill must still pass the House.
told news reporters the $12 million is contained in a $31.5
billion anti-terrorism bill that will need President Bush's
signature. Even if the president vetoes the bill, Inhofe said
the bridge-repair money will get through in some other bill.
Gary Ridley said the bridge is expected to reopen in late August
or early September. Initial agency estimates put the project's
completion date at six months.
reconstruction was scheduled to begin last night. The contractor
reportedly will receive $6,000 extra for every hour it beats
the contract schedule. If it runs over, the company will be
penalized $6,000 per hour past the deadline.