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NW Expressway “Bridge to Nowhere” already broken…

1:21 PM EDT on July 17, 2023

Back in June, after many extended delays, Oklahoma City finally completed construction on the weird, semi-out-of-place "Bridge to Nowhere" that spans NW Expressway near Wilshire. 

The bridge was supposed to make the extremely unwalkable NW Expressway slightly less unwalkable, while also providing a crossing point for the couple of dozen cyclists who ride the Hefner to Overholser Biking trial each day, but so far, it seems like the only thing it's accomplished is back up traffic while under construction.

For what it's worth, I don’t have a problem with the general idea for the bridge. 

NW Expressway is a pain to cross in a car, much less on legs or a bike, and with the city investing billions of dollars in downtown over the past couple of decades, I guess we should throw a breadcrumb or two at our now-neglected suburban areas. 

That being said, maybe we should work on adding sidewalks up and down the thoroughfare – or updating the existing intersections with modern crosswalks – before building giant bridges across six lanes of traffic. 

At the very least, make sure the bridge is compliant with rules and regulations before opening it!

Just one month after it was "completed" and opened, the bridge is already under repairs because it’s not compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act, something you’d think the city would have looked into a tad earlier in the process. 

KFOR Channel 4 had a story about it on Friday. Here’s a pic of the section that apparently violates ADA code:

Listen, I’m not an expert on the Americans with Disablities Act – I’m also not a structural engineer – but that looks like a safety risk to all humans, not just those with disabilities!

Seriously, should a new bridge look like it’s already sinking in the middle? While they’re up there, maybe they should add some “New Bridge: Cross At Your Own Risk” signage and a rope to hold onto in case it collapses.

Here’s what city staff said about the closing:

“A post construction inspection of the walkway found that a section appeared to be out of ADA compliance. Further inspection by the contractor and engineer determined that temporary shoring be placed under the section until additional investigation could be completed. The engineer is completing the additional investigation, and plans are being developed to address section of walkway that is out of compliance. A timeline has not yet been determined for any additional work. The bridge and walkway will remain open, and notices will be made when work is scheduled that may require closure of the walkway.”

I'm sure that was a quick inspection:

"So, any issues, Inspector?"

"Well, outside of the bridge looking like it's about to collapse, everything is fine."

The city stressed to KFOR that the bridge is still open, but I think I’d rather take my chances playing Frogger across six lanes of traffic on NW Expressway than crossing that bridge at the moment. Then again, I’m not much of a dare-devil so what do I know?

Anyway, I guess we’ll continue to monitor the bridge and let you know when repairs are finished or it collapses into a pile of rubble following an Oklahoma earthquake. Stay with The Lost Ogle. We’ll keep you advised. 

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