Council Gets Details on What $8.9M for Bridges in Improve Our Tulsa Will Buy

Jul 12, 2019

Credit KWGS News File photo

The proposed Improve Our Tulsa renewal includes $8.9 million for bridge repairs, which would cover work on 40 of 306 structures the city is responsible for.

Three bridges are up for major rehab, like new decks or beams; 10 need minor work, like flood coating; and 27 are due for preventive maintenance, like crack sealing.

"It’s really important to emphasize that none of these treatments will include a complete replacement of a bridge," said Mayor's Chief of Staff Jack Blair. "We really need to manage expectations that these will not be entirely new bridges."

Blair said it’s important to maintain the city’s bridges, especially now.

"The average [city] bridge age is about 38 years, and older bridges typically have a design life of 50 years. But maintenance and repair, just as with streets, can extend that life," Blair said.

Of the 40 bridges that would be worked on, 23 are currently considered "structurally deficient" under federal guidelines.

"So, through this program, 11 of those structurally deficient bridges will be removed from that list, but, as with streets, as you’re going along in a program, conditions continue to decline," Blair said. "So, as many as 20 of those 39 considered 'at-risk' could become structurally deficient over the next six years."

The proposed $639 million Improve Our Tulsa renewal should go to voters in November.