ODOT investigating hole on the Willis Bridge

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MARSHALL COUNTY, OK -- Since a caller told the Marshall County Sheriffs Office about a hole in the Willis bridge early this morning the Oklahoma Deparment of Transportation has been out trying to get it fixed as quickly as possible.

"We are jackhammering and squaring up the hole so we are able to place forms underneath and maybe get it stable enough where we can pour concrete back in," said Ttrenton January, ODOT engineering intern.

ODOT officials said the hole is about 3 feet wide and 7 feet long and gives a clear view of Lake Texoma underneath. Marshall County commissioner Chris Duroy drove over the bridge himself on Friday.

"It's a little frightening that pieces of that bridge are falling out and apparently during the middle of the night," said Duroy. "It's kind of a scary thing."

ODOT said the harsh winter could've damaged the bridge, or salt used on icy days could've corroded the rebar and caused it to expand. But it could've also happened because the bridge is over 50 years old.

"These holes have been recurring for the past 20 years and we work on them continually," said January.

And while this isn't the first time part of the bridge has crumbled into the lake, Duroy said ODOT is keeping an eye on it.

"I know it has happened before fairly recently so this is something that they do watch, they watch it almost on a daily basis."

ODOT said replacing the Willis Bridge is part of their 8 year work program, but Duroy says it isn't set to begin until 2018.

They hope to be finished with the repair by sometime this evening.