officials were told Tuesday, Aug. 2, that bridges are deteriorating at a faster
rate than the state can fix them.
The critical nature of the
bridges is listed as a priority in the Department of Transportation
Commission’s updated $2.5 billion, eight-year construction plan, The
Commissioners on Monday
approved adding a year and more than $308 million to the improvement plan,
which now runs from fiscal year 2005 to fiscal year 2012.
The plan provides for an
additional $208 million for bridge work, adding 97 bridges to those already in
Other priorities include
$81 million for interstates, and $44 million to repair two-lane roads that
Gary Ridley told the newspaper that without bridge repairs the state’s problems
would only get worse. Oklahoma has 135 bridges that are more than 80 years old.
“In 10 years, more than 800
bridges will be 80 years old,” Ridley said.
The highway department said
of the state’s 6,728 bridges, 1,116 are structurally deficient and 174 have
restricted load limits.