Number of deficient Oklahoma bridges continues to drop

The Willis Bridge will be narrowed to one lane nightly through Sunday.

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) - Officials say the number of structurally deficient bridges in Oklahoma has dropped from about 1,170 in 2004 to 132.

Transportation Secretary Tim Gatz told a state transportation panel Monday that Oklahoma now ranks 13th in the U.S. for fewest deficient bridges in its highway system.

About 6,800 bridges are part of Oklahoma's system, a number that doesn't include other spans operated by local entities such as city and county governments.

Gatz says the state Department of Transportation began setting more money aside in 2006 for bridge repairs, and lawmakers provided additional funding a few years later.

He says a finding that a bridge is deficient doesn't necessarily mean it's dangerous for motorists to cross. It's an indication that some part of the bridge, such as the driving surface, needs improvements.

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