The Norman Transcript

Opinion

September 17, 2013

Bridge progress noted

NORMAN — A decade ago, state highway department officials said some of Oklahoma’s bridges that carried school buses were new in the horse and buggy days.

Great progress has been made in the past few years in replacing those spans, but the state and counties still have a long way to go.

An aggressive building program has reduced the number of deficient bridges from 414 to 348 in the past few years.

State transportation officials told The Associated Press that Oklahoma has more than 23,000 bridges statewide. Most of those bridges are county bridges and are not part of the state highway system.

Nationally, an analysis by The Associated Press shows 65,605 bridges are structurally deficient and 20,808 are fracture critical, meaning they do not have redundancies built into the design and could collapse if a single component fails.

Oklahoma lawmakers, at the urging of transportation planners, began addressing the bad bridge backlog after the Webbers Falls I-40 bridge collapse on Memorial Day weekend in 2002. Fourteen people, including two Norman residents, died when a barge collided with a bridge pier.

Traffic, estimated at 20,000 cars per day, was detoured for two months onto an older bridge. That got state officials to thinking about overall bridge safety.

1
Text Only | Photo Reprints
Opinion
  • Dancing forward

    The official motto for Mike Fowler’s chairmanship of the Norman Chamber of Commerce is “Moving Norman Forward.” But after Thursday night’s annual banquet, the sub-theme should be, “Let’s Dance, Norman.” More than 500 chamber members and ...

    April 19, 2014

  • NRA members need to step up

    Please, Mr. Bloomberg, leave the checkbook open, but step away from the podium. Your efforts to curb gun violence and improve safety are notable. The National Rifle Association thanks you....

    April 19, 2014

  • Local control or not?

    Oklahoma lawmakers are a fickle bunch when it comes to issues of local control. Sometimes they want it and other times they do not....

    April 19, 2014

  • Norman should act wisely

    Editor, The Transcript: The fact that the city of Norman sells water for oil/gas drilling (or any other purpose) for less than half what they pay Oklahoma City when buying water, and while Norman residents are on rationing, is an act of ...

    April 18, 2014

  • There’s no need to fix system that’s working

    Lawmaker attempts to alter the way judges are selected are being challenged by the state’s lawyers. More than 1,800 signatures on a state bar association petition urging a “no” vote on Senate Joint Resolution 21 have been gathered in just ...

    April 18, 2014

  • On the side of openness

    Oklahoma Gov. Mary Fallin has been criticized for failing to release emails and other information sought by press outlets who believe it was covered under the state’s Open Records Act. Now, Fallin is coming down on the side of keeping the ...

    April 18, 2014

  • A raise for troopers, but what about others?

    Oklahoma Highway Patrol troopers could see an increase in their paychecks during the state’s next fiscal year, which begins in July....

    April 17, 2014

  • Fallin should help residents

    Editor, The Transcript: I see this week that our empty skirt of a governor asked the federal government (small business administration) for much money. She is concerned about the suffering of the business owners in Lexington and Purcell ...

    April 17, 2014

  • Top honors for NPS

    Top honors keep rolling in for both of Norman’s high schools. The district learned this past week that Norman High School and Norman North High School have been recognized as two of the most rigorous high schools in the country and in the ...

    April 16, 2014

  • Wind power bursting

    There are a few wind generators dotting the Norman skyline, but western and northwestern Oklahoma makes up for the deficit here. An industry group this week said Oklahoma ranks fourth nationally in the amount of wind-generated ...

    April 16, 2014