COMANCHE COUNTY, OK (KSWO) - A bridge that is more than 70 years old is set to be replaced. It's located at Post Oak Creek on Southwest Bishop Road. It was approved on Monday by the Comanche County Commissioners.It's been in the planning stages for 5 years.
County Commissioner Don Hawthrone said they had several steps to complete before it was approved by the board. They had to select engineers, create a design, conduct an environmental survey, and make sure there is no utilities lines in the way. The bridge is about 70 years old and is in bad shape.
Driving down Southwest Bishop Road you will come across a low water crossing at Post Oak Creek.
"Its just deteriorating we need to do something to it," said Hawthorne.
District 3 County Commissioner Don Hawthorne said commissioners began developing a plan to replace the crossing with a bridge several years ago.
"We have a 5 year plan and each district, eastern, and western district has a 5 year plan and when it come up to put a bridge on that plan we selected this one because of the shape that it is in, and a lot of traffic that goes over it," said Hawthorne.
Over the past few years workers have patched it up, but Hawthorne said that's not enough, when it rains the crossing becomes swept under water.
" In 2015 this whole bottom flooded, this whole area flooded, a lot of people had to evacuate of course the bridge is not going to prevent that it will just keep people from going through low water crossing just make it safe for when water is running down the Post Oak Creek," said Hawthorne.
The new bridge will cost 864,000 dollars.
"This money comes from a special fund that has been set up by the legislature and derived from the registration of vehicles..Motor Vehicles and it is put into the fund," said Hawthorne.
The new bridge will be much safer for drivers.
"In the years past it wasn't as many people populated in the rural area and so we were not quite as concerned with traffic and as you can see from the bride its deteriorating quite a bit and we just felt from the safety of people that live out here," said Hawthorne.
Hawthorne said now that everything is finalized they will be construction next year and it will only take about a month before its complete.
Construction crews will build a temporary bypass, so drivers can still use southwest Bishop Road.
He adds they will also be working on 4 other bridges across the county in the next few years.