A bridge not too far

Drew Butler
City employees recently completely rebuilt the bridge on McClain Road in Ardmore. City employees did all the work themselves rather than bidding the project out to a contractor.

After being closed for almost two months, one of the bridges on McClain Road opened to traffic Thursday afternoon. A crew from the city repaired the bridge themselves rather than bidding the project out to a contractor. While they were able to reuse the existing truss for the bridge, all of the decking and substructure has been completely replaced.

City Engineer Thomas Mansur said the new bridge will have a five ton weight limit and its condition is as good or better than it was when first built.

“We went ahead and decided to restore the bridge to equal to or better than what it ever was,” Mansur said. “Fortunately, we could reuse the truss because its in excellent shape and still works quite well.”

Mansur said he had been monitoring the bridge for several years and noticed an increase in the corrosion of the steel beams underneath the bridge’s decking.

“A year ago when I inspected it, we didn’t have all the corrosion that we saw on the top flange of some of the I-beams,” Mansur said. “I wasn’t alarmed so much by the condition of it so much as much it had deteriorated in one year.”

He said the decision to rebuild the bridge instead of building an entirely new one made the most sense for the city financially because it receives a low traffic count. Building a new two lane bridge would have cost over $1 million, where as the cost of redoing it was less than half that amount.

Mansur said he is happy with the overall finished project.

“It’s not something we do every day, but frankly we got it finished in good order.”