Oklahoma to raise nine bridges on Interstate 35

By Tyson Fisher, Land Line staff writer | 1/18/2017

Shortly after the Kansas Turnpike Authority announced its plans to raise 10 bridges on the highway, the Oklahoma Department of Transportation has made public a similar project. ODOT will be increasing the height of nine bridges along Interstate 35 this year.

Courtesy of Oklahoma Department of Transportation

The Oklahoma Department of Transportation will move forward with a project to increase the height of nine bridges on I-35 between Tonkawa and Kansas state line.

Currently, several bridges in the Sooner State are functionally obsolete, defined as “perfectly safe and structurally sound, but may be the source of traffic jams or may not have a high enough clearance to allow an oversized vehicle,” according to the National Bridge Inventory. ODOT will begin work on nine bridges with a 15- to 16-foot clearance and raise them to 17 feet.

Much like KTA’s infrastructure, all nine bridges were built between 1958 and 1960, according to ODOT spokesperson Lisa Shearer-Salim. Since then, national standards and vehicle sizes have changed. Raising the bridges to 17 feet will meet standards while also accommodating to future pavement options.

The nine county bridges affected are over I-35 between Tonkawa and the Kansas state line and are located at:

  • North Road
  • Highland Road
  • Hartford Road
  • Coleman Road
  • Chrysler Road
  • Ferguson Road
  • Adobe Road
  • Home Road
  • Indian Road

Estimated to cost approximately $3 million, ODOT expects each bridge to be completed in 60 days, possibly sooner. Compared with completely replacing a bridge, increasing the height is significantly cheaper and faster with minimal road closures.

Shearer-Salim said that ODOT plans to purchase the equipment needed for the project, which may be used to increase the height of more bridges in the future. Although ODOT’s project is very similar to KTA’s, the two are not related.

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