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Cherokee Nation Utilizes Unique Bridge Construction

Wed October 05, 2022 - West Edition #21
tulsaworld. com


Workers make preparations for the installation of a Fast Cast bridge near the W.W. Keeler Tribal Complex on Bald Hill Road that was damaged during catastrophic flooding in May.
(Cherokee Nation photo)
Workers make preparations for the installation of a Fast Cast bridge near the W.W. Keeler Tribal Complex on Bald Hill Road that was damaged during catastrophic flooding in May. (Cherokee Nation photo)

In Oklahoma, the Cherokee Nation is using a new and innovative method to replace a bridge on Bald Hill Road near the W.W. Keeler Tribal Complex that was damaged during catastrophic flooding last spring.

In a joint venture of Cherokee Nation Department of Transportation and Infrastructure and Cherokee County District 3, crews are utilizing a Fast Cast Bridge that open the vital community pathway that has been closed for the last five months.

"From our historic self-governance agreement with the United States to these kinds of innovative construction techniques, we are in a new era of progress in improving roads and bridges across the Cherokee Nation Reservation," said Principal Chief Chuck Hoskin Jr.

This building method is a new approach that saves time by using steel forms constructed in a manufacturing facility as well as prefabricated beams.

"We are always looking for ways to expedite the construction process for road and bridge projects," said Michael Lynn, executive director of the Cherokee Nation Department of Transportation and Infrastructure. "This innovative approach to constructing bridges was something that caught my eye recently and I felt that Bald Hill Road was a perfect location for the Fast Cast Bridge system. This system allows bridges to be built in weeks rather than months."

The Fast Cast Bridge was delivered to the Bald Hill Road site in late August. The concrete was set to be placed to fill bridge walls and to create a deck and floor for the bridge.

"The community has had to use an alternate route, adding a 2.5-mile detour since the bridge failed in May," said Andy Quetone, Cherokee Nation director of transportation.

"The Cherokee Nation Department of Transportation is excited about using a proven, innovative method to replace old and damaged bridges on our Reservation. This process will take bridge replacement from a usual 60- to 90-day repair or replacement to a few weeks, creating less disruption for citizens' lives and allowing for safer travel in a timelier manner."

The Cherokee Nation is using the federal Tribal Transportation Program, part of the Federal-Aid Highway Program (FAHP) to fund the $700,000 project.

The Cherokee Nation's Department of Transportation and Infrastructure plans to use this technology in the future to speed up other road and bridge projects.




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