City working on construction plans for pedestrian bridge over I-44

Updated: May. 17, 2021 at 7:07 PM CDT
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LAWTON, Okla. (TNN) - The City of Lawton is working on construction plans for a pedestrian bridge across I-44 and Gore Boulevard.

They’re hoping to make crossing I-44 safer for pedestrians after several deaths and injuries.

Soon, they’ll have a plan to go over with the Oklahoma Department of Transportation and move forward with the bridge.

It’s a project that goes back to 2017 when city council agreed it was a dangerous area for walkers.

“I think everybody that’s lived in Lawton has seen people trying to cross the interstate right there,” he said. “For some reason, they don’t walk across the bridge, although that’s probably not the safest way but they try to run across the interstate right there and hop the fence.”

A pedestrian bridge would solve that problem, but it comes with a $1.3 million price tag.

Director of Engineering Joe Painter said they have some help paying for it from the state.

Painter: “We have funding with ODOT, so we have an 80/20 split, so they’re paying for 80 percent of the construction and part of the design as part of this project.”

The City will pay 20 percent with 2012 and 2015 CIP dollars. The design is for a steel truss bridge with a concrete deck.

Painter said it’s all about keeping the community and walkers safe.

“We never want to see a life lost trying to cross the road,” he said. “It’s horrible. We have to get this pedestrian bridge in, and hopefully, they’ll use it.”

They’re hoping to put buffalo designs, seen on other City bridges, on the abutments of the bridge.

Painter said they’re waiting on environmental clearance from ODOT, which is standard procedure. They’re hoping to complete the bridge by next fall.

Painter said the bridge is also a part of the City’s program to put sidewalks in as many places as possible to make pedestrian traffic more safe.

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