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Payne County Bridge work

Payne County Bridge work

Stillwater News Press

Jessica Jackson

September 28, 2009 12:12 pm

Payne County didn’t benefit much from the rounds of stimulus money handed out from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, but it will get a new bridge out of the deal. 

Stimulus funds were available to Oklahoma counties only through the circuit engineering districts, County Commissioner for District 3 Jim Arthur said. Payne County is part of CED 5, along with Logan, Oklahoma, Cleveland, McClain, Garvin and Murray counties.

The district offered stimulus money to three counties for a bridge each, Arthur said. Logan and Murray counties also have bridge projects that qualify.

Arthur said Payne County received $454,000 for a bridge over Clear Creek northwest of Langston on 92nd Street between Pleasant Valley and Major roads. The structure is more than 100 feet long.

“We appreciated getting the money we did,” Arthur said. “The only thing we have to pay on it is the engineering.”

Engineering costs will run about $32,000, he said.

The bridge had been ready for reconstruction for about two years, but the county was waiting to get federal money, he said.
“They just flat didn’t have any funds for bridges — the federals didn’t — for two years,” he said. “(The CED) picked the bridges that have been ready the longest.”

Because the bridge was unsafe for heavy loads, school buses and farm machinery had to drive about four miles around it, Arthur said. The new bridge will eliminate that problem.

District 1 Commissioner Bill Deering said he didn’t receive any money because he didn’t have any big projects that would qualify.
“I didn’t have one at that point that was shovel ready,” he said.

Arthur said counties weren’t expecting any federal funds for road reconstruction. For a project to qualify, he said, it pretty much had to be ready to go.

“No one had any idea they’d have it for roads for counties, so no one was really prepared for it,” he said.

For the repaving of three miles of Euchee Valley Road, the Sac and Fox Nation promised Deering it would use additional stimulus funds to repay the county. The nation originally planned to do the paving, but funding was not available at the last minute. Deering said he did not want to wait until they had it because the road was ready to be paved already.

Aside from that situation, Deering said he has not seen any stimulus money for his district.

Commission chairwoman Gloria Hesser said the stimulus money given to Payne County was only for roads and bridges, none of which she qualified for in District 2.

• Comes in through Circuit Engineering District No. 5
• $454,000 for bridge project in Payne County
• Reconstruction on bridge over Clear Creek northwest of Langston

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West 92nd Street near Pleasant Valley Road is closed Sunday as construction crews rebuild the Clear Creek bridge. Payne County received $454,000 in American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 money to repair the structure, which is more than 100 feet long. Stillwater NewsPress

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