State completes highway inspections following Saturday's big shake
All bridges on the state highway and turnpike system remain open to traffic and safe for travel. The Oklahoma Department of Transportation inspected 180 state bridges after a 5.6-magnitude earthquake early Saturday near Pawnee.
As part of ODOT’s policy to inspect state highway bridges following an earthquake of 4.7-magnitude or higher, bridges within a 30-mile radius of the epicenter of today’s earthquake were inspected. The department was able to complete these inspections across six counties in less than six hours after today’s event. While minor cosmetic damage was noted on two bridges these bridges are open to traffic and safe for travel.
“We are pleased with the speed and efficiency of our crews in their response to this event and dedication to ensuring public safety,” Mike Patterson, ODOT executive director, said. “We offered bridge inspection assistance to cities and counties within the 30-mile radius and in a few instances our offer was accepted.”
The department recently went through a rigorous process to develop an earthquake inspection policy and manual beginning with a 5-mile radius on a 4.7 magnitude. While bridges are designed to withstand a certain amount of vibrations, a 5.6 magnitude is one of the strongest earthquakes the state has experienced. The department will continue to be alert and ready to perform inspections should any aftershock or other fractural disturbance occur in the state.