Tahlequah Daily Press

January 16, 2014

Shut down: New bridge planned over Turkey Creek on 132

By Dale Denwalt, Staff Writer
Enid News and Eagle

ENID, Okla. — More than a thousand drivers each day could be impacted by the closure of a bridge over Turkey Creek.

Oklahoma Department of Transportation has shut down Oklahoma 132 just north of Drummond while the bridge is replaced.

ODOT Resident Manager T.J. Dill said it’s about time.

“It’s in bad shape. It’s definitely going to be a great asset to those people to get that bridge replaced,” he said.

According to the most recent state figures, an average of 1,200 vehicles cross the bridge each day. That traffic is expected to increase by about 40 percent over the next 20 years, Dill said.

The project is worth $2 million. Contracting firm OBC Inc. of Edmond has until May 31 to finish demolition and construction of the new bridge.

However, Dill said there are incentives in place for the private contractor to finish early.

“It’s our intention to get it done within 90 days, at least to get the road open back up to public traffic,” he said.

Oklahoma 132 runs north and south and passes through Drummond. The highway is west of Enid and ODOT’s project is just south of U.S. 412.

The highway is closed between Southgate and Cheyenne.

For drivers making plans for an alternate route, ODOT only can detour drivers to other state highways in the area. However, Garfield County Sheriff’s Office already has seen an increase in drivers on smaller county roads, such as Imo Road.

In a Facebook post, the sheriff’s office warned drivers of the law.

“The posted speed limit is 45 or 55 mph. Deputies will be working speed enforcement in the area,” the post said.

Sheriff Jerry Niles could not be reached for comment Wednesday.

The new bridge over Turkey Creek will be 225 feet long and will appear similar to the old one, Dill said. Construction should advance more rapidly during good weather.