ODOT Monitoring Roads, Bridges For Earthquake Damage


Wednesday, June 18th 2014, 7:42 pm
By: News 9


The epicenters for both of the earthquakes this week are essentially in the exact same location. And in that area it's not just residents but the Oklahoma Department of Transportation looking for damage.

For Arnelia Spears all the shaking has almost become routine.

"One little small one, then a big one, yesterday was three then it was two other big ones," said Spears. "It shook the bed, had my nieces hollering."

While Spears has encountered the nearly hundreds of quakes this year, she has noticed this week is different.

"We just saying these are getting worse and getting worse," said Spears.

6/18/2014 Related Story: More Earthquakes Recorded In Oklahoma Wednesday Afternoon

Part of the reason, Spears home is just off the intersection of NE 122nd St. and Midwest Blvd. directly on top of what the Oklahoma Geological Survey has recorded as the epicenter of this week's 4.5 and 4.1 earthquakes.

"I've never known earthquakes to happen so often. In Oklahoma? I try not to worry about things I can't do anything about," said Spears.

But for ODOT, earthquake awareness is now part of the job.

"We're all learning so we're very much in the information process and what this all means," said ODOT's Terri Augier.

So for every earthquake that's 4.0 magnitude or greater, ODOT now sends crews to a five-mile radius in and around the quake's epicenter. There crews survey every bridge looking for and recording any fresh crakes, settling, or displaced debris.

"It's kind of hard because it's from an earthquake and sometimes it's not but you still have to check it," said Augier.

And if something is wrong Spears will make sure ODOT stays on top of it all.

"Something wrong with the road, fix it, you can survey all you want, just get it done," said Spears.

Crews will continue to survey the roads for the next few months before handing the results to an outside consultant for possible improvements.

ODOT also mentioned the reason for the 4.O threshold; the roads are already built to sustain anything less.

6/18/2014 Related Story: 4.1 Magnitude Earthquake Shakes OKC Metro