I-40 Bridge Hit Update for June 6

Work continued overnight on demolition of the span under water. In addition, work on the segment leaning on the barges began in the early morning. The outside wall of the bridge was removed, as well as a portion of the bridge deck. Late in the morning, demolition work stopped in response to a restraining order issued by a judge in Muskogee County. The fact that ODOT has been marking, saving and storing debris as it is removed has since caused the pressure to stop demolition to cease, so demolition will resume and could begin as early as this evening.

A mandatory pre-bid meeting will be held on Saturday, June 8 at 11 a.m. at the bridge site. Contractors interested in submitting a bid for the reconstruction work must attend to be eligible. We are trying to arrange an emergency meeting of the Oklahoma Transportation Commission next week to award the contract. The contractor receiving the award will have 1553 hours to complete the work, which translates to just under 65 working days. The contract will include financial incentives and disincentives of $6,000 per hour to make sure that the work is finished within the contract time frame or before. ODOT is doing everything possible to make sure the work is done properly and quickly.

While most attention in this situation has been focused on the I-40 traffic, the interruption of barge traffic has also had a significant economic impact. In 2001 Barges carried over 4.3 million tons of cargo over the Oklahoma portion of the waterway. That was a value of $1.3 billion. With barge traffic halted, the volume of backup and lost revenue is increasing daily.

We would appreciate your assistance by referring people to the ODOT website when planning travel routes. The address is: www.okladot.state.ok.us