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Bridge on Highway 1 re-opens

Bridge on Highway 1 re-opens


McAlester News Capital

Nov. 17, 2009
By James Beaty
, Senior Editor

It’s been a long time coming, but a state bridge east of Hartshorne that has been closed to traffic because of ongoing work is now open.

That’s according to the latest word from the Oklahoma Department of Transportation.

Both lanes of State Highway 1 over Gaines Creek, east of Hartshorne, closed on July 14 so construction work could start on a bridge replacement project. The bridge over Gaines Creek is near Higgins and approximately 13 miles east of Hartshorne.

Work on the new bridge cut off what for many had been a well-traveled route between the McAlester, Hartshorne and Haileyville areas, and the Buffalo Valley, Talihina, Tuskahoma and Clayton areas.

Those traveling from McAlester to Talihina, for example, had been forced to take a detour, with the most common one being to take U.S. Highway 270 to Wilburton, and from there taking State Highway 2 to the south.

The original Gaines Creek bridge had been constructed in 1941. It’s been replaced by a new concrete and steel structure which was part of the $1.8 million bridge replacement project.

Approximately 1,400 vehicles a day drive over the bridge spanning Gaines Creek, according to ODOT.

In May, the Oklahoma Transportation Commission awarded the project to a joint venture consisting of Plains Bridge Contracting of Oklahoma and Treas Construction Inc.

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