The Norman Transcript

Opinion

October 9, 2013

Bridge repair goal still on the horizon

NORMAN — The state’s quest to repair or replace deficient bridges continues. Transportation commissioners this week pledged to finish the mission by the end of the decade.

That’s part of an eight-year, $6 billion plan to undertake 2,000 individual projects. The Associated Press reported that the plan includes 924 bridges and improving 657 miles of two-lane highways and 552 miles of high-volume highways and interstates.

Some of the state’s bridges were built in the horse and buggy days and still carry school buses. Contracts awarded this week will address 52 bridges, with 20 of them in the structurally deficient category.

Several of the bridges addressed in the approved plan are county bridges. Cleveland County has dozens of them, mostly in southern and eastern parts of the county.

Officials have made progress in addressing bad bridges since a 2005 report ranked Oklahoma’s bridges the nation’s worst. Earlier, a bridge collapse on Interstate 40 sent thousands of cars a day onto a deficient bridge while the I-40 span was rebuilt.

Lawmakers have ramped up funding and have cut the number of bridges by more than half since 2004.

Much of the new plan relies on federal funding. Projects already in the pipeline have the advantage, but a year could come when federal money goes elsewhere.

1
Text Only | Photo Reprints
Opinion
  • Help for rural America

    A drive through rural parts of the Southwest can be depressing. For sale and for rent signs are prevalent. Businesses along main streets have closed. Unless they are close to a major interstate highway, many communities are in decline....

    April 23, 2014

  • Embarrassment to Oklahoma, again

    The standardized testing that was halted in local schools Monday is another embarrassment to the state. The same thing happened a year ago and Oklahoma gave them another chance....

    April 23, 2014

  • Time to move on; exit of Sebelius is right choice

    From the moment it became obvious that healthcare.gov wasn’t working, Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius became damaged goods for the White House....

    April 23, 2014

  • Happy birthday to us

    We don’t expect any cake and that many candles might be dangerous but today is the unofficial 125th birthday of Norman....

    April 22, 2014

  • Hero of Haarlem … for common good

    “Trudging stoutly along by the canal,” as the story goes, the 8-year-old son of a Dutch sluicer was returning home from delivering cakes to a blind man. Humming as he passed the dikes, he noticed that recent rains had made his father’s job ...

    April 22, 2014

  • Hate without end

    The news that a former grand dragon of the Ku Klux Klan is suspected of shooting and killing three people near Jewish community centers in Kansas seems at first glance like a disparaged past flaring briefly into the present. Americans like ...

    April 21, 2014

  • Reform is necessary

    Editor, The Transcript: Last year, the legislature passed laws reforming the Oklahoma Department of Veterans Affairs, which was a good start, but more is needed. Recent media reports have revealed that the ODVA employs M.D. and D.O. ...

    April 20, 2014

  • Keep your brain cells

    Editor, The Transcript: Hey kids. Four centuries ago, Shakespeare wrote about life’s seven great adventures. I forget his exact words, but they were something like this: 1. Our birth; none of us can remember it, but never the less, it is ...

    April 20, 2014

  • Don’t let moderation confuse you

    Jeb Bush’s recent compassionate comments on immigration show how far apart he is from the far right of the Republican Party....

    April 20, 2014

  • Priest’s execution should spur action

    In the hierarchy of saints, martyrs are on the highest rung of the celestial ladder, at least for me....

    April 20, 2014