Busy Ardmore Bridge Closed For Repairs - KTEN.com - No One Gets You Closer

Busy Ardmore Bridge Closed For Repairs

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ARDMORE, OK -- Construction on a busy bridge in Ardmore will have drivers looking for a new way to get around, and drivers are already wondering when things will be back to normal.  

"It's an inconvenience, but I think it's worth it," said Sally Murray, the director at the Gloria Ainsworth Center just east of the MLK bridge.

A lot of people KTEN News talked to along Martin Luther King Drive said the same thing. An inconvenience, but a necessary one.

"It does need improvement," said Jeneva Jones, who lives along MLK Drive. "It did, it really did."

"It's at least 60 years old I don't have the exact date but it's maybe even older than that," said interim city engineer Tom Mansur.

Those who live and work along MLK Drive say the closing of the bridge has created some hassles for commuters.

"It's a very old bridge," said Murray. "I've been commuting across that bridge practically 30 years."

The Martin Luther King bridge is actually made up of concrete slabs like these two. They're joined in the middle by these expansion joints which help the bridge expand and contract microscopically in different temperatures. The interim city manager says after nearly 60 years of wear and tear, it's time for them to be replaced.

"We have a new type of expansion joint now that has a little bit more movement and will not detach itself from the bridge," said Mansur.

Mansur says instead of shutting the bridge down periodically throughout the $700,000 project, the structure should only be closed for about the next 60 days.

"The bridge will at least be as safe or safer than it was and we'll extend the life of the bridge another 25 years," said Mansur.

"I'd rather see them fix it now than to have something happen later that might cost lives and everything else," said Murray.

Mansur says in addition to the new expansion joints and resurfacing of the bridge it will also be repainted.

The project is scheduled to be completed in mid-August.