On Friday afternoon, July 26, 2013, the Indian Hills Road Bridge over Interstate 35 was closed to through traffic due to the discovery of a hole in the bridge deck and the subsequent hazard to traffic both above the bridge as well as traffic below the bridge on I-35. Since that time, Norman city staff has worked closely with staff and consultants with the Oklahoma Department of Transportation to determine the best permanent solution to the current problems with the bridge deck. This is the second incident since April 2013 in which one or more holes have been discovered in the bridge deck on Indian Hills Road.
The Indian Hills Road Bridge over Interstate 35 is approximately 50 years old. The bridge is structurally safe for traffic, but the bridge deck is deteriorating at a more rapid rate as the surrounding areas develop and traffic increases. This problem has developed over recent years. The City of Norman and ODOT have worked closely to develop a permanent solution to this bridge maintenance problem because both agencies share maintenance responsibilities for the bridge. Over the past year, ODOT and City bridge engineers have designed the permanent bridge deck repair project. Bids were received for the project and the Oklahoma Transportation Commission awarded the contract earlier this year to Wildcat Construction Company, Inc. of Wichita, Kansas. The cost of the project is approximately $700,000 in total cost, of which the City of Norman’s share is $250,000.
Wildcat Construction Company, Inc. has elected to begin work on the permanent bridge repairs on Monday evening, July 29, 2013. The project will require up to 52 calendar days for completion. However, ODOT has included an incentive clause in the construction contract to encourage Wildcat Construction to complete the project by up to 17 days earlier. During the repair of the bridge, Indian Hills Road over I-35 will be closed to traffic. The interchange ramps and Indian Hills Road on either side of the bridge will remain open to traffic throughout most of the project with only short-term closures for specific project activity. Interstate 35 will also remain open to traffic with possible, intermittent lane closures in the off-peak hours of operation.
In the future, the City of Norman and ODOT will work together on a full-scale replacement of the interchange at Indian Hills Road and Interstate 35. The project is not currently included in ODOT’s 8-year Construction Program, however ODOT has indicated a willingness to begin the planning process very soon for the long-range interchange replacement project.
Additional questions may be directed to Mr. Josh Malwick, City of Norman Capital Projects Engineer, at (405)366-5454.
Dated July 29, 2013 2:30pm