Claremore Daily Progress

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August 7, 2013

Catoosa taking ownership of Rice St. Bridge

CATOOSA —

Catoosa City Council members approved to salvage and assume ownership of the Rice Street Bridge over Spunky Creek during Monday’s regular meeting. 
All seven members of the board voted yes to have the bridge transported from the original site and reconditioned for use as part of the city’s sidewalk to school’s project.
The Rogers County-owned Rice Street Bridge has been closed to vehicular traffic for years. 
Once the bridge is relocated, a new bridge will be built allowing the road to reopen for drivers to cut through to Hwy. 66 from Cherokee. 
District 3 Rogers County Commissioner Kirt Thacker and Rogers County Contract Engineer Brian Kellogg addressed the council with a plan for the relocation of the 100-year-old bridge.
“The best (plan) that we can come up with at the moment is dismantling the bridge in a reasonable manner, setting it to the side and the county will haul it over to the District 3 maintenance shelter in Claremore,” said Thacker. “That was a cheaper way to go instead of having the contractor try to wrestle that thing around. We’ll try to have a truck there waiting to haul (the bridge) to the shelter as it is dismantled, but if not we’ll still get it there.”
City Engineer/PWA Director Craig Kupec said “decent” plans have been made to use the bridge as one of the pedestrian bridges on the eastside of Cherokee Street, integrating a piece of history into the city’s sidewalk to school project.
“Two pedestrian bridges will be needed on the eastside of Cherokee. Cost of a new bridge is rougly $60,000,” said Kupec. 
“If we could effectively use (the Rice Street Bridge) for anything less than $60,000, we’re preserving a piece of history, and it’s not like it’s all expenses because in the future we’ll be spending money for a new bridge anyway.”

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