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Red Bud Lane bridge to be closed through December

Kevin Farr,
The Bryan County News
The Red Bud bridge across Highway 69/75 remains closed after an accident just over a month ago. Oklahoma Department of Transportation officials expect the bridge to be repaired in December and re-opened by the first of the year.

Over the last several weeks, many residents who traverse the north side on a regular basis may have wondered when the Red Bud Lane bridge across U.S. Highway 69/75 would be reopened after an accident that occurred over a month ago.

The Oklahoma Department of Transportation said last week that will be a few more months.

A semi-trailer truck with an oversize load collided with the bridge structure, forcing local and state officials to close the bridge to traffic that used the roadway on a frequent basis to connect from North Washington Avenue to First Street.

Inspectors with the ODOT Bridge Division recently inspected the bridge and determined that there is damage to structural steel in one area on the south side of the bridge with a damaged beam in need of repair.

In agreement with the city of Durant, the state elected to shut down the bridge completely until those repairs can be made rather than set up signal lights for just one thru lane of traffic in the meantime.

“One main beam will need to be straightened for repair, but fortunately not have to be replaced,” said ODOT spokesperson Madison Schein. “This is not that uncommon of a repair and should be a pretty quick fix.

“The portion that was hit was on the south side of the bridge. It could have been fixed by closing off just one lane and bringing portable signals, but the city and state agreed to just leave the whole bridge closed until those repairs are made. Unfortunately, people will have to find alternative routes across the highway for likely the rest of this year.”

The estimated cost of repair on the bridge is $82,500, which will soon go out for bid.

ODOT is expected to award the winning bid in early December with a contract. It estimates that, weather permitting, the repair project to take roughly 10 days to complete.