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May 21, 2014

Bridge repairs underway on Highway 81

DUNCAN — A construction project to make repairs to the U.S. Highway 81 bridge that spans Claridy Creek has closed the  shoulder of the highway’s northbound lanes.

Workers are installing “drop boxes” at the bridge to improve storm drainage, said David Colunga, project supervisor for Earth Builders, a Decatur, Texas, contractor.

Erosion has affected the  northeast corner of the bridge, where repairs are now being made, and southwest corner of the bridge on the other side of the highway, Colunga said.

The repairs began on April 28 and may take 120 days to finish, said Vernon Romine, a transportation specialist with the Oklahoma Department of Transportation, which hired Earth Movers for the job.

“We think we can get it done in 90 days,” Colunga said.

Traffic detours will not be necessary until the end of the project, when new asphalt on the highway will have to be  laid, Colunga said.

The detours should only last a day or so, he said.

Claridy Creek passes beneath the highway at the Walgreen’s store where U.S. 81 is intersected by Elder Avenue and Spruce Avenue. Just south of that point, the creek runs between Memorial Park and Halliburton Stadium.

Chisolm Trail Mall was once known as Claridy Creek Mall because of its proximity to the creek. The mall’s name was changed in 1998 when a new owner took over.

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