Teams Evaluating Roads, Bridges, Buildings After Oklahoma Earthquake

Wednesday, October 13th 2010, 1:20 pm
By: News 9

By Colleen Chen, NEWS 9

OKLAHOMA CITY -- Governor Brad Henry sent out teams to evaluate state infrastructure following Wednesday's earthquake.

The governor's office contacted emergency management, public safety, transportation and building officials across the state soon after the earthquake struck.

"There's certainly no reason to panic, but we want to err on the side of caution and do everything we can to make sure people and structures are safe," Gov. Henry said.

Employees inside the Oklahoma Department of Transportation knew to call on engineers after the earthquake struck.

"The shaking lasted quite a while. We put a big circle on the map from the epicenter of the earthquake to determine which bridges needed inspection," said ODOT's Terri Angier.

The area includes 23 bridges in 14 locations including the Crosstown.

ODOT engineers performed a preliminary inspection on the Crosstown Wednesday morning, and consultants also took a closer look. Cobb Engineering has the contract to keep an eye on the I-40 Crosstown. The company has a crew of about 20 structural engineers inspecting the Crosstown.

"This was my first earthquake. We all felt it and as structural engineers it's our first instinct to start examining things," said Taylor Barnes with Cobb Construction.

Engineers said everything looks good so far and no significant damage has been reported. Evaluations and inspections will continue through Thursday. Engineers are looking for any twisting, shifting or cracking.

The Oklahoma Turnpike Authority was also inspecting their roads, bridges and overpasses after the quake struck.

According to the Oklahoma Geological Survey, the earthquake had a magnitude of 5.1. The U.S. Geological Survey estimated a magnitude of 4.3.

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