Bridge beam program stretches limited taxpayer dollars

by The Oklahoman Editorial Board Published: August 14, 2012
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The Oklahoma Department of Transportation is involved in a massive recycling project that will significantly reduce consumption of resources.

We're not talking about placing used papers into special bins. The agency's recycling project will help build hundreds of bridges, allowing safer travel for drivers across Oklahoma.

The process of tearing down the old elevated Interstate 40 Crosstown Expressway in Oklahoma City is yielding materials that help build other bridges across the state while saving money. This is good news for Oklahomans who continue to face some of the worst bridges in the country, and it's being done in a cost-effective way.

There are about 1,800 steel beams in the old Crosstown bridge and as many as 1,500 will be used for county bridges.

The recycling project could save $8 million and build at least 300 50-foot bridges, if not more. That's significant, because Oklahoma has far too many subpar bridges.

A new federal report ranks Oklahoma among the worst states in the country based on the number of structurally deficient bridges. It's estimated 4,600 of 16,000 bridges in Oklahoma achieve that dubious distinction.

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by The Oklahoman Editorial Board
The Oklahoman Editorial Board consists of Gary Pierson, President and CEO of The Oklahoma Publishing Company; Christopher P. Reen, president and publisher of The Oklahoman; Kelly Dyer Fry, editor and vice president of news; Christy Gaylord...
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