Tahlequah Daily Press

March 15, 2013

Chewey Bridge repairs prompt detour

From Staff reports

TAHLEQUAH — A project about to get under way in northwestern Adair County may have an impact on some travelers in northeastern Cherokee County.

According to Oklahoma Scenic Rivers Commission Administrator Ed Fite, repairs have been ordered for the undercarriage of the Chewey Bridge. The work is being performed by the Oklahoma Department of Transportation in cooperation with the Adair County Commissioners Office.

“They’re taking the old bridge deck and the support beams under the deck off the bridge – removing those and replacing them,” Fite said. “The piers won’t be replaced, but the bridge will get new stringers and deck support underneath, along with new decks.”

The “stringers,” Fite explained, are the high beams that support the concrete roadbed.

Detour signs posted along State Highway 10 have confused some drivers, but Fite said the highway itself isn’t being closed to traffic.

“There’s a traffic light on each end of the bridge, and it’s just open to one lane of traffic, so wide loads are being detoured,” Fite said. “That’s mainly why the signs were put up. There will be times during construction that equipment may be on the bridge, so it might take 20 minutes or so to get across it.”

The project should be finished by late summer, he said.