Interstate 40 reopens early

July 29, 2002
Crews have finished repairs 10 days ahead of schedule on an interstate bridge where 14 people fell to their deaths after it was hit by a towboat in May. Traffic was scheduled to resume today over the interstate bridge in Oklahoma. Cars and trucks plunged into the Arkansas River after a towboat pushing two barges slammed into the bridge along Interstate 40, killing 14. As many as 17,000 cars and trucks
Crews have finished repairs 10 days ahead of schedule on an interstate bridge where 14 people fell to their deaths after it was hit by a towboat in May.

Traffic was scheduled to resume today over the interstate bridge in Oklahoma. Cars and trucks plunged into the Arkansas River after a towboat pushing two barges slammed into the bridge along Interstate 40, killing 14.

As many as 17,000 cars and trucks have been rerouted each day through Webbers Falls and other nearby towns as construction crews worked around the clock to repair the collapsed span.

Oklahoma DOT said the repair price rose to $30 million, twice the original estimate, due to the cost of shoring up the damaged structure and maintaining detour routes. The agency said it has spent almost $10 million on repairs to alternate routes.

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Tim Parry

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