ODOT announces major changes to Roosevelt Bridge
KINGSTON, Okla. (KXII) - The Oklahoma department of transportation released its 8 year plan for new projects across the state and it includes improvements to, or possibly, the building of a brand new Roosevelt Bridge over Lake Texoma.
The 8 year plan outlines and budgets all of the transportation projects that ODOT has planned.
The projects range in size and price, and one of the largest is focused on the Roosevelt Bridge on highway 70 which connects Bryan and Marshall Counties.
“The current bridge has served its term,” said ODOT engineer Anthony Echelle. “It is structurally deficient, functionally optimally which basically means its not, it doesn’t serve the needs of the type of traffic using it right now.”
It will take some major changes to bring the 80 year old bridge up to speed.
According to Echelle the increase in traffic on the bridge is a factor that needs to be addressed.
“It doesn’t make any sense to build anything less than a four lane highway, currently its two,” Echelle said. “The demand from traffic is there and its increasing.”
In addition to adding more lanes, they hope to increase its load capacity to allow access to as many vehicles as possible.
However at this early stage of development details are still being considered to determine the best course of action.
But whichever plan is seen through, it won’t be cheap.
“In Durant and Calera we have a major project underway,” Echelle said. “The price tag on that project is 152 million dollars, that was the bid amount. That’s the largest project that ODOT has ever awarded a contract to. I think this project will exceed that one.”
The money for all the projects in the plan will come from existing state and federal funding, however the bridge project will exceed a full fiscal year budget for the district in which it resides.
Which means some additional funding will need to be secured before the project can proceed.
“We’re going to explore any and every option on how to finance this project,” Echelle said. “To do that we need to know what we’re financing, that’s why we’re working very hard to outline what is the most feasible options to consider, what the cost of that would be, so that if we can identify non traditional funding for it and secure that non traditional funding we can react quickly.”
Until the funding is secured and ecological reviews are completed there is no set time table for when construction will begin.
However, other projects included in the plan should be getting underway very soon.
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