The president will have to sign off on the declaration.
Oklahoma Department of Transportation engineers received recommendations from expert consultants concerned that continued cracking on the bridge would pose a serious safety issue if the bridge were reopened early to light vehicles.
The bridge, named for former newspaper publisher and Speaker of the House James C. Nance, was closed to all traffic after 11 cracks were discovered in 10 areas during a post-repair inspection. A contractor began working on emergency repairs Feb. 14. Since then, 264 cracks have been discovered in about 40 locations.
Metal brackets that strengthen the bridge are being fabricated in Oklahoma City and Florida and are being installed as soon as they arrive, chief engineer Casey Stell told county commissioners.
ODOT will pay incentives to contractors Manhattan Road and Bridge Co. and Sherwood Construction for timely completion.
A free shuttle running between the two communities has drawn about 1,800 total riders, with as many as 100 riders some days.
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