Well the clock is officially ticking. The contractor now has 45 days from this moment to get the bridge back open to passenger vehicle traffic or face some big-time penalties.
"We did have a very aggressive timeline on this bridge, so it's going to be a challenge for them," ODOT Chief Engineer Casey Shell said.
The incentives are huge to get the bridge open quickly.
"$2,500 rate for that 45 calendar day portion to get passenger vehicle traffic back on the bridge or $1,500 per hour for the longer portion, which is to get the bridge open in 120 days to truck traffic," Shell added.
Manhattan Road and Bridge based in Tulsa won the contract with a bid of $17.8 million to install 264 splints on load-bearing parts of the bridge.
"It's a dangerous bridge, but we caught it," Shell said.
Seventeen of those areas already cracked. It's detailed work that has to happen quickly.
"In a steel mill somewhere, you're seeing an actual factory beginning to produce what we need, said Shell. "These brackets are highly specialized."
Bobby Stem with the Oklahoma Association of General Contractors said work on the actual bridge probably won't start right away.
"What I would say to the people in Purcell and Lexington, ‘Don't be frustrated,'" said Stem. "For the next week, two weeks, we have a tremendous amount of construction that has to take place off site. We'll bring that to the site and we'll start suring up the bridge and making it safe again."
There was actually a lower bid presented to ODOT, but the company's timeline would not have gotten the bridge open quickly enough so that bid was disqualified.