The Oklahoma Department of Transportation (ODOT) has approved a contract for consultants to study the possibility of removing Belle Isle Bridge.
According to ODOT, the $1.9 million contract was awarded to MacArthur Associated Consultants for a preliminary study to evaluate the possible future replacement of the Belle Isle Bridge.
ODOT officials said a total bridge replacement is not currently scheduled in the 8-Year Construction Work Plan.
A preventative project to seal joints and pier caps, keeping water, salt and sand from seeping through will begin this fall, according to ODOT. It was previously planned to follow an initial rehabilitation project but decided to wait for emergency project to wrap up.
Preliminary engineering and preparation of construction plans for I-44 joint seal and pier cap protection on the Belle Isle Bridge was approved by commission in March 2016.
Preliminary engineering was awarded to EST, Inc. in March for $92,000. These plans are underway now, estimated to start in the fall. Traffic will be affected for a short amount of time.
This rehabilitation project is in 8-Year Construction Work Plan estimated at $2.5 million.
This bridge carries 100,000 vehicles on average per day and was built in late 1978.