Oklahoma Department of Transportation Executive Director Mike Patterson said Monday the agency is optimistic the bridge between Lexington and Purcell will reopen to traffic by June 14 as scheduled.
Commissioners unanimous approved awarding an emergency contract in February to begin work on the structurally deficient bridge. At the time the agency offered some of the highest financial incentives in its history in hopes of getting the bridge repaired and reopened to passenger car traffic within 45 days. ODOT is offering incentives as high as $2,500 an hour to emphasize the importance of the project.
The bridge was originally closed Jan. 31 by ODOT officials for safety reasons concerning several cracks found in structural bridge beams. The total cost for the project was estimated at a base cost of $5.5 million dollars without incentives.
The commission Monday approved a $20.4 million transfer for the bridge’s repair, which is the total repair cost to date. ODOT officials have maintained that the biggest driver of the project is time so financial incentives have driven up the costs of the project, Patterson explained.