Two state bridges temporarily closed after design evaluations, - - Texoma news, weather and sports

Two state bridges temporarily closed after design evaluations, load postings made

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From Oklahoma Department of Transportation:

Oklahoma Department of Transportation officials continue to keep abreast of new bridge evaluation methods and are taking precautions to keep Oklahomans safe.
Following a year-long study after the 2007 Minnesota bridge collapse, the Federal Highway Administration issued guidelines for evaluating similar bridges across the nation. Although the evaluations could not begin until guidelines were issued, ODOT was soliciting engineering consultants to be on standby once guidelines were published.
The design reviews include evaluating all 95 truss bridges on the state highway system. Trusses contain plates that connect structural members commonly referred to as gusset plates which are the focus of evaluation.
The study of the Minnesota bridge collapse indicated inadequate gusset plates may have played a role in the structure's failure. The design evaluations are in addition to the routine wear and tear inspections already performed by the Department every year on these truss bridges. After the Minnesota collapse, ODOT engineers immediately began inspections of similar bridges in Oklahoma.
A nationally recognized consulting firm gave ODOT officials preliminary data from its evaluations this week. As a result two state bridges were temporarily closed and load limits for 25 others were also temporarily reduced, meaning heavy vehicles are restricted from crossing the bridges. Engineers are reviewing ways to modify the bridges, if necessary, to improve postings and reopen as quickly as possible.
The closed bridges are in Choctaw County on SH-109 over the Kiamichi River and in Garvin County on SH-74 over the Washita River.
"We certainly have a duty to err on the side of caution," ODOT Chief Engineer Gary Evans said. "When we saw the preliminary information from the design evaluations, we decided to take action on the bridges until further determinations can be made."
Bridges with the temporary load postings are in Beckham, Bryan, Canadian, Cherokee, Coal, Garvin, Grant, Haskell, Hughes, Johnston, Latimer, Leflore, Lincoln, McCurtain, Pittsburg, Pontotoc, Pushmataha and Rogers counties.
"We know these closures will be an inconvenience," Evans said. "And we are working diligently to make the closings as short term as possible."
As more data becomes available on the remaining truss bridges, additional temporary closings and load postings are possible.

Area bridges with temporary load postings following these design evaluations include:

Bryan County        SH-78        Red River
Canadian County        US-281        Canadian River
Cherokee County        SH-100        Dry Creek
Coal County        US-75        Rock Creek
Garvin County        SH-76        Washita River
Garvin County        US-77        Washita River
Grant County        US-60        Salt Fork of the Arkansas River
Haskell County        SH-2        Beaver Creek
Hughes County        SH-9        Wewoka Creek
Johnston County        SH-99        Washita River
Latimer County        SH-1        Buffalo Creek
Leflore County        SH-63        Billy Creek
Leflore County        SH-63        Kiamichi River
Leflore County        US-270        Caston Creek
Leflore County        US-271        Fourche Maline
Lincoln County        SH-66 Business        Capitan Creek
Lincoln County        US-177        Deep Fork River
Marshall County        SH-32        Hauani Creek
McCurtain County        US-70        Little River
McCurtain County        US-70        Mountain Fork River
McCurtain County        SH-3        Glover River
McCurtain County        US-70        Yashau Creek
Pushmataha County        SH-3        Kiamichi River
Pushmataha County        US-271        Kiamichi River

Temporarily closed
County        Highway        Crossing
Garvin County        SH-74        Washita River
Choctaw County        SH-109        Kiamichi River