The Norman Transcript

State/Region

September 16, 2013

Okla. bridges in bad shape

OKLAHOMA CITY — Despite increases in transportation funding and an aggressive program to improve the state’s roads and bridges, hundreds of Oklahoma bridges are outdated and in poor condition, according to a recent analysis of federal bridge data.

An Associated Press analysis of bridges in the National Bridge Inventory, which are subject to national standards, shows Oklahoma had 414 bridges across the state both structurally deficient and fracture critical. Citing a lag time between federal data and more recent state figures, Oklahoma transportation officials say that number has since been reduced to 348 as a result of increased funding for programs to fix and replace both state and county bridges, but they acknowledge more work needs to be done.

“A lot of people don’t realize that we have more bridges than a lot of other states,” said Terry Angier, a spokeswoman for the Oklahoma Department of Transportation, who noted Oklahoma has more than 23,000 bridges statewide. “Then you combine that with 40 years of underfunding the transportation system in Oklahoma.

“But we’ve been very aggressive talking about this for the last 10 years ... putting more money into the program.”

The Associated Press analyzed data involving 607,380 bridges in the National Bridge Inventory. On a national basis, there are 65,605 structurally deficient bridges and 20,808 fracture critical bridges, according to the most recently available federal government data.

A bridge is deemed “fracture critical” when it does not have redundant protections and is at risk of collapse if a single, vital component fails. A bridge is “structurally deficient” when it is in need of rehabilitation or replacement because at least one major component of the span has advanced deterioration or other problems that lead inspectors to deem its condition “poor” or worse.

Some 7,795 bridges nationwide fall into both categories — a combination of red flags that experts say is particularly problematic.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
State/Region
  • Health officials prepare for flu

    OKLAHOMA CITY — Following a flu season in which a record number of Oklahomans died as a result of the virus, state and county health officials say educating the public and general common sense are vital to reducing both the death rate and ...

    July 27, 2014

  • Scam targets migrants

    HOUSTON — Scammers have been preying on the relatives of unaccompanied young migrants being held at two U.S. military bases by conning them into paying nonexistent fees to be reunited with their loved ones, officials said....

    July 27, 2014

  • Trial delayed for man in murder case

    DUNCAN — The first-degree murder trial of a Velma man charged with killing a 16-year-old girl has been delayed until January....

    July 27, 2014

  • Man seeks video of 1995 Oklahoma City bombing

    OKLAHOMA CITY — One man’s quest to explain his brother’s mysterious jail cell death 19 years ago has rekindled long-dormant questions about whether others were involved in the 1995 Oklahoma City bombing. What some consider a far-flung ...

    July 27, 2014

  • Man found dead outside Tulsa home

    TULSA — Police in Tulsa are investigating the death of a man whose body was found outside a house on the city’s north side....

    July 27, 2014

  • McCain: Arizona execution ‘torture’

    TUCSON, Ariz. — U.S. Sen. John McCain says the execution of an Arizona inmate that lasted two hours was torture....

    July 26, 2014

  • Okla. food pantries struggle to meet demand

    TULSA — Food pantries, soup kitchens and shelters across Oklahoma are scrambling to meet demand for food from, among other groups, kids left in the lurch because they can’t get the free and discounted meals offered when schools are in ...

    July 26, 2014

  • Rogers County clerk sues paper over stories

    CLAREMORE — The Rogers County clerk has sued the Claremore Daily Progress and its government reporter over claims the newspaper painted her in a false light and invaded her privacy. Clerk Robin Anderson filed a lawsuit Thursday against ...

    July 26, 2014

  • Okla. high court says lawmaker can serve as DA

    OKLAHOMA CITY — A Republican House member from Jenks is eligible to become Tulsa County’s district attorney, even though a raise for prosecutors was approved during his term in the Legislature, the Oklahoma Supreme Court ruled Friday....

    July 26, 2014

  • Fallin wants probe to include botched executions

    OKLAHOMA CITY — A spokesman for Gov. Mary Fallin says the governor wants investigators looking into Oklahoma’s recent flawed execution to consider problems that have popped up in other states such as Ohio and Arizona....

    July 26, 2014