Calmer weather in store this week

Crews start removing debris from May Ave. bridge, hope to reopen NW Expressway next week

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May Ave/NW Expressway bridge collapse

OKLAHOMA CITY – Just one day after a truck driver struck a heavily traveled bridge, collapsing a portion of it onto the street below, contractors are already working to clean up the mess.

Around 2:40 p.m. on Thursday, the May Avenue bridge that crosses over Northwest Expressway collapsed after a semi hauling a boom lift hit the bridge.

The driver of the truck told police he passed under the other side of the bridge earlier with no issue.

One side of the bridge has a maximum height of 14 feet and eight inches.

The side that collapsed only has a maximum height of 14 feet and four inches.

May Ave. bridge collapse

May Ave. bridge collapse

Officials say contractors and engineers are already working to remove damage from a busy intersection.

However, the bridge and Northwest Expressway remains closed in all directions.

Officials say it will likely take at least two to three days to remove all of the debris from the area, depending on the weather.

They say they are hoping to reopen some traffic to Northwest Expressway next week.

Right now, consulting engineers and contractors are trying to figure out how long the whole project will take and how much it is going to cost.

However, they say that depends on the full extent of the damage to the bridge.

Contractors say they do not believe that the eastbound portion of the bridge suffered any damage, but they won’t be sure until they do a full inspection of it.

They hope to start receiving bids from companies to fix the bridge soon, saying since this is an emergency situation, they hope to have it done faster than normal.

Officials estimate that 20,000 drivers travel on that portion of May Ave. each day.

They also estimate that 30,000 drivers travel under the May Ave. bridge on Northwest Expressway every day.