By Joey McWilliams
[Update: The bridge was reopened at 7:30 p.m. with both lanes open for use.]
LAKE TEXOMA – The Oklahoma Department of Transportation has been working throughout Friday to be able to restore traffic flow on the Roosevelt Bridge.
The two-lane bridge which crosses Lake Texoma and connects Bryan and Marshall Counties has been shut down since Thursday afternoon following a two-vehicle accident that resulted in two fatalities.
Lt. Scott Hampton of the Oklahoma Highway Patrol talked Friday afternoon about the progress of the day.
“ODOT is performing repairs,” Hampton said. “They’re doing an evaluation of the bridge. And dive operations have ceased for the day.
“Once ODOT is done repairing the bridge, we’re going to evaluate opening up traffic. And then we will take another look at recovery tomorrow.”
Hampton said the bridge could be reopened for traffic as soon as ‘evening time,’ but that by Saturday drivers could expect to be able to drive on it.
“I would say by tomorrow we should be back to restricting it to possibly one lane,” Hampton said. “Traffic will be opening, but we are going to shut down lake access and restrict it north and south of the Roosevelt Bridge. And that will start at 7:00 in the morning.”
Hampton also talked about the flow of traffic once the bridge reopens.
“As people pass through here, we want traffic to move freely and to not congest the area. The biggest impact will be to lake traffic down on the lake. We will have our marine division restricting any access through the channel while the recovery operation is taking place.”
The accident took place at about 1:50 p.m. on Thursday when a 2004 Chevrolet Cavalier collided with a 2015 Volvo Semi. The semi went off the bridge and into the lake and was fully submerged.
The driver of the Cavalier was pronounced dead at the scene. The semi and the driver have not yet been recovered from the lake.
Identification has not yet been released for either driver.