June 1, 2002

Webbers Falls, ODOT Prepare Memorial Site for I-40 Victims

Work Continues at Bridge Site


As the one week anniversary of the I-40 Bridge Hit approaches, The City of Webbers Falls and the Department of Transportation prepare a memorial site in commemoration of the victims of the tragedy. The memorial is being set up at a city park next to the Webbers Falls City Hall on Commercial Street. The fallen bridge is visible from the park giving visitors a chance to reflect in a serene setting appropriate for a memorial.

ODOT officials have been working with Webbers Falls Mayor Jewell Horne to have the site ready for Sunday morning. Access to the River is also available from the park for those wishing to place flowers in the river which will flow to the bridge site one mile down the stream in memory of the victims.

While the memorial is being set up, salvage operations continue to progress at the bridge site. ODOT contractors are mobilizing more equipment in preparation for demolition of one of the bridge segments. The bridge segment resting on the two barges will have to be removed with using a combination of demolition devices including a wrecking ball, some explosives, concrete shears and other cutting devices. That work is planned for as early as Sunday but is more likely on Monday.

ODOT officials urge travelers to find alternate routes in the area depending on their destination.

Travelers heading to Oklahoma should use a map and route out their trip before leaving for their destinations," said spokeswoman Terri Angier. "There are a number of different 2-lane highways in eastern Oklahoma and depending on their destination, travelers could find an alternate that best meets their needs."

Travelers using the two ODOT suggested detours of SH-9 and SH-64 should allow more time for possible delays.