Fallin announces plan to fix bridges

By: Morgan Downing Email
By: Morgan Downing Email

BRYAN COUNTY, OK-- Oklahoma Governor Mary Fallin signed House bills 2248 and 2249 into law Monday, to fix or replace the 706 bridges across the state that have been deemed structurally deficient.

The bills will increase road funding to $59.7 million in the next fiscal year, and will increase the "County Improvement for Roads and Bridges" fund from $80 million to $111 million.

About 40 of the old bridges on the list can be found in Bryan County.

"Many of these bridges are old and they've worn out over a period of time. And many of them were never designed to support the loads that are being expected of them to support now," said Bryan County Commissioner, Monty Montgomery.

Montgomery says they need this state money because rebuilding isn't cheap.

"Counties don't have, we don't even have the type of funds to even approach what it would take to make these, replace any bridges. Now we can make some minor repairs to bridges with the funding we have, but in order to replace a bridge, I don't know that you'll find a bridge in Bryan county that could be replaced for less than $300,000."

That is on the low end. County residents say one bridge in particular, the Carpenter's Bluff bridge, could definitely use some TLC.

"It's a terrible bridge. I don't even want to cross. It just looks unsafe to even think about going over it," said Mead resident, Gary Vaughn

"Funding is already in place for that bridge, and it's expected to be an excess of $10 million to replace that bridge," said Montgomery.

It is unknown which bridges will be replaced or repaired first. That will be decided when the funds start coming in.

"These additional funds are going to be very appreciative and we appreciate the governor signing this," said Montgomery.


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