Weight limit reduced on deteriorating Cache bridge - KSWO 7News | Breaking News, Weather and Sports

Weight limit reduced on deteriorating Cache bridge

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(Source KSWO) (Source KSWO)
(Source KSWO) (Source KSWO)
(Source KSWO) (Source KSWO)

CACHE, OK (KSWO) -A recent change in the weight limit on an old bridge in Cache has caused Cache Public Schools to re-route a few school buses, and now the county commissioner wants everyone to be aware.

The bridge is on Airport Road, between Gore Boulevard and Cache Road. Due to the age and condition of the bridge, they've reduced the maximum load from 15 tons to five tons. That means anything larger than a full-size van shouldn't drive on it.

Comanche County Commissioner Don Hawthorne says when he received the annual inspection report on the bridge in January, it noted an eroding foundation. His first call was to the Cache superintendent to see if there were any bus stops on that road that needed to be changed. Fortunately, there aren't any, but they did re-route three buses that regularly travel on Airport Road.

Convincing the public to change their routes though, isn't as simple.

"By driving over it and knowingly exceeding the weight limit…of course they are taking a chance of breaking the bridge down and causing injury to themselves or damage to their vehicle," Hawthorne said.

The bridge has started to deteriorate. It has rust all along the columns. One of the wing walls, which is meant to prevent erosion, is missing from part of the bridge.

Hawthorne says they began the processes to replace the bridge with the Oklahoma Department of Transportation in 2011. Although the bridge keeps getting worse due to delays, they won’t be able to get it replaced until the end of 2017 because of the long processes.

He explained they will have to have an environmental impact study before they can do the initial construction plan.

“Then the next step is to move the utilities. There are water lines and the overhead electric lines, so that will have to be moved as well," Hawthorne explained.

Once the bridge is ripped up and a new one is completed, the county says it will look like the one on West Gore.

The county is in the process of acquiring titles to the land. There is still a long road ahead to building this bridge, but they do believe they will meet their 2017 deadline.

Copyright 2016 KSWO. All rights reserved.

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