Bridge project near Deer Creek schools expected to cause detours

OKLAHOMA COUNTY – It’s a heads up for parents and drivers in Deer Creek Schools.

A project worth nearly $8 million is underway along MacArthur between 178th and 206th.

County officials say the area is a giant flood zone.

“We're putting $7.8 million dollars into this project so that we can get kids home from school, we can get people back and forth to their houses when we do have torrential rain,” said Rick Buchanan, Chief Deputy for Oklahoma County District 3.

The project broke ground about a month ago and will take about a year to complete.

“We’ve got 1,500 feet total of construction and this bridge will cover the floodway that exists, especially on MacArthur,” said Buchanan.

The bridge will be 10 feet higher than the surrounding area to let the water flow under.

Leveling is underway and pillars are going up as crews move forward, it’s something officials say county voters approved.

But the price for the new bridge comes with detours.

“Now, we used to take Meridian up north because MacArthur was really backed up and now, all the traffic is going to be going to Meridian or Rockwell,” said parent Linda Driskill. “That’s going to make it a lot more complicated. I think the drop off and pick up will take a lot longer.”

But in the name of safety, Driskill admits it will all be worth it.

“Well, if it is a safety issue, I think, it would make me feel better because the kids are going to be coming here for a long time," she said.

Drivers to the Deer Creek main campus will have to take Meridian or Rockwell north to 206th.

Deer Creek Schools released a statement saying:

"The closure of MacArthur from 178th to 206th will greatly affect the ability of parents, High School students and buses to get to Deer Creek High School and Deer Creek Intermediate School as MacArthur is a main thoroughfare for traveling coming from the most heavily populated area.   We have asked parents and students who drive to make a plan for an alternative route and to leave enough time to get to school safely.   There are 2600 students who travel in this area that attend the High School and Intermediate School.  The closure of Rockwell at 206th going North adds an additional challenge for those driving to these two campuses.  We do understand the need for the road improvement but it will cause our staff, students and patrons some challenges in the upcoming school year."