US-59 BRIDGE REOPENED NEAR SALLISAW AFTER BEING STRUCK BY BARGE, ODOT SAYS

News 6 - March 30, 2024 5:54 pm

Barge struck bridge near Sallisaw-3-30-2024(Ch 6)

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4 p.m. Update: The Oklahoma Department of Transportation said US-59 is now open at the Arkansas River south of Sallisaw.

ODOT says engineers inspected the structure and found it safe to reopen.

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Earlier: A barge that struck US-59 just south of Sallisaw on Saturday forced authorities to close the bridge over the Arkansas River at the Kerr Reservoir until inspections can be made.

The Oklahoma Highway Patrol said the bridge is completely shut down as of 1:25 p.m. and that traffic is being diverted from the area. This is near the Sequoyah and Le Flore county borders, OHP says.

OHP says it will remain closed until engineers with the Department of Transportation can conduct inspections, which could last several hours.

OHP advises drivers to detour using I-40, SH-2 and SH-9 and that ODOT has traffic control in those areas to assist.

On Friday, a navigation channel near Fort Gibson on the Arkansas River was closed after strong winds knocked two construction beams off the bridge, with one dangling over the water.

The City of Fort Gibson confirmed with the Oklahoma Department of Transportation that no one crossing the bridge was ever in danger and that it’s still safe for drivers to cross.

That channel will remain closed until the winds slow down for the beams to be removed from the river, authorities said.

This comes after a massive cargo ship lost power and struck the Francis Scott Key Bridge in Baltimore, Maryland, early Tuesday morning, causing it to collapse into the Patapsco River.

 

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