river bridgeStarting in September the bridge on SH 84 between Graham and Dustin is going to be torn out.
Spanning the North Canadian River, the bridge is said to be unsafe with some of the support piers washing away from their support. “The trusses are bad and the deck is worn out,” said Joe Bradley with the Oklahoma Department of Transportation. He pointed out the riverbed has shifted more to the east causing some problems as well.
“This is going to add time to our bus routes between Dustin and Graham,“ said superintendent C.J.Buesser. The bus routes will have to go south of the school to a county road and swing around to Dustin. That is going to be a 15-mile trip and is going to add to the school’s expenses. Buesser said the school is already strapped for funds like other districts across the state and no extra funds have been designated to help with the added cost.
Replacement of the bridge is expected to cost $3.5 million and is projected to be completed next March.
Buesser said he was originally told the work would start next March. If that were the case, it would only have a two-month impact on the school’s transportation system.
“The contractor, H&H Bridge, will get a bonus if he completes the work early. I was told that could happen in December. If we get weather delays in the fall and winter, that could prevent that from happening,” the superintendent said.