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Miami Searches For Bridge Approach Flooding Solutions - KOAM TV 7

Miami Searches For Bridge Approach Flooding Solutions

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MIAMI, OKLAHOMA -


John Mitchell owns Big Daddy's Barbeque, less than a mile off of the Highway 125 bridge over the Neosho River.
Its repeatedly flooded bridge approach puts a damper on his business.

"It puts us back, and we have to start all over again from scratch" says owner, John Mitchell.

3/4th of the town is on the other side of the bridge, so when the approach floods, the bridge closes and it's john's restaurant that gets rained on.

"The bridge being closed, yes it does hurt my business for the city to come and visit me" he says.

Every time the bridge is closed, it adds risk to the public's safety.

When workers are re-decking the bridge, there is potential for closure up to 18 months.

"All of our public safety infrastructure is on this side of the river so to add another five to ten minutes for a fire truck or ambulance or police car to be able to get on to the other side, that could out somebody's life at risk" says City Attorney and State Representative Ben Loring.  

ODOT not having the funds for the approach throws a curve ball for coordinating the re-decking and raising projects

"We don't want it shut down for a year to be re-decked and then as soon as it's opened back up, we shut it down again to do the approach" he says.

"I don't think there's enough time for the engineering to get done on the approach project. There are issues that you have to work through, environmental issues" says ODOT Engineer, Randle White.

There is still research to be done of the cost of raising the approach and sources to fund it,
But as far as John goes, he knows his barbeque is worth a detour.

"If somebody really REALLY wants some barbeque, they'll drive that extra 10 minutes"

 

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