DUNCAN, Okla. (TNN) - The Oklahoma Department of Transportation office in Duncan is receiving some high praise. They were chosen as the builders of the state’s best bridge two out of the last three years.
The Oklahoma Department of Transportation’s Division 7 in Duncan has won two of the last three Pharaoh Awards, which is for building the state's best bridge and is only given to one office each year.
In 2017, they won for a bridge on the Duncan Bypass and this year they won again for a bridge on Highway 79 in Jefferson County.
The first Pharaoh award the Duncan Residency received was for their work on phase one of the Duncan Bypass Project.
"It is the flyover bridge that goes over State Highway 7. So, complete new alignment, we built a new bridge over 7 that helps Northbound traffic on the Bypass connect to 7,” said Colton Roberts, Resident Engineer for Duncan Residency.
Their latest award-winning work is a little further south - a bridge about a half-mile long going over the Red River in Jefferson County.
"I talk to a lot of public down there that traveled repeatedly across the old bridge that was there before. It was not a good bridge, it was there since 1939, I think. They’re excited to have a better bridge, a better product to travel back and forth to work. It’s safer and overall just a better project,” said Lead Inspector Chris Keck.
Roberts said the award is tough to win and is honored they were selected.
"The OTA and the 8 divisions of ODOT get to nominate one bridge each for their area. So, we knew we nominated our bridges but when you get the call that your bridge won, it’s a pretty high deal, we’re extremely happy about that,” Roberts said. The award isn’t just making them happy, it’s helping to build their reputation here in Southwest Oklahoma.
"There are residents in the state that may never get an award for this just because they may not have a bridge that’s able to beat another one out. For us to be able to get two is a high honor for us,” Roberts said.
Roberts said the people who work and live down here are part of what makes our local ODOT office capable of earning these accolades.
"We have contractors and us ourselves as ODOT, in our area we want to provide the highest quality projects for the traveling public. So, we put everything we can into each project to do the best we can on them,” Roberts said.