Record Flooding Wreaks Road Havoc
The SH-99 bridge over the Washita River near Tishomingo has been closed due to flooding since May 10.
Before traveling, check ODOT's new interactive map for the latest road closures due to high water and erosion damage or click on the most recent flooding update report.
ODOT battles flood waters throughout May
Storms started battering the Sooner State beginning the evening of May 5 and there has not been much reprieve since. Drought turned into a major drenching statewide in May 2015 after record-breaking rainfall. Oklahoma Department of Transportation engineers and crews are still assessing the extent of the damage to the state's highways and bridges. The total costs of the storms may not be fully known for several months as crews must wait for much of the water to recede in order to make complete assessments. The department is anticipating damage to be in the tens of millions of dollars, which will significantly impact ODOT's maintenance and emergency budgets.
Even after the repair of immediate flooding damage, drivers will face traffic delays in the coming months due to potholes caused by saturated roadbeds and as yet unknown bridge damage. Potholes have been more prevalent this year, particularly in southeastern Oklahoma, after extreme winter damage compounded aging pavement conditions.
Help for County Roads
Gov. Mary Fallin has issued an emergency declaration for all 77 counties, which will allow the state bidding process to be expedited to quickly award repair projects. Gov. Fallin also has directed ODOT to aid counties with damage to county roads and bridges. County damage estimates remain unknown at this time. The department is examining ways to expedite projects approved for the County Improvements for Roads and Bridges fund as well as looking at other ways to aid the county recovery process.
On June 3, 2015, U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx announced the immediate availability of $1 million in Emergency Relief funds from the U.S. Department of Transportation's Federal Highway Administration to help ODOT cover the cost of repairing federal-aid roads in Oklahoma. This funding will be used for landslide repairs on US-271 south of Clayton, SH-1 in LeFlore County and SH-82 in Haskell County.
Below are six examples of the battering state infrastructure has taken during these weather extremes.
TO LEARN more about ODOT's response to statewide flooding, see this week's press release.
This temporary construction detour along SH-54 near Gotebo in Kiowa County eroded after floodwaters razed the area May 9. The detour fully collapsed and was removed May 27, 2015.
US-271 near Clayton in Pushmataha County closed May 23, 2015, after heavy rains and erosion caused extensive cracking in the highway. Repairs, which are designed to slow further erosion, are estimated at more than $1 million. An innovative technique will be used to shore up the soil underneath the road bed. Both erosion repairs and surface repairs may take up to one month to complete, weather permitting.
SH-3 west of Rattan at Rattan Landing in Pushmataha County was under water May 25, 2015. The road is now open.
Heavy rain caused this rock slide that impacted the safety of the road bed of US-259 about five miles south of SH-63 in LeFlore County on May 25, 2015.
SH-7 near Lee Boulevard east of I-44 at Lawton in Comanche County was under water on May 25, 2015.
Flooding has damaged state-owned rail lines across the state causing freight lines to either slow trains significantly or stop rail traffic entirely.
Last Modified on 06/03/2015
The Oklahoma Department of Transportation (ODOT) ensures that no person or groups of persons shall, on the grounds of race, color, sex, religion, national origin, age, disability, retaliation or genetic information, be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be otherwise subjected to discrimination under any and all programs, services, or activities administered by ODOT, its recipients, sub-recipients, and contractors. To request an accommodation please contact the ADA Coordinator at 405-521-4140 or the Oklahoma Relay Service at 1-800-722-0353.