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City officials meeting to discuss future of Belle Isle Bridge

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OKLAHOMA CITY – City officials are meeting today to talk about the future of the Belle Isle Bridge.

A few weeks ago, the Oklahoma Department of Transportation found major damage to two of the 80 piers supporting the bridge.

They say the damage occurred from water and salt damage over time.

The bridge is being forced to close lanes and ramps to protect the 100,000 vehicles that travel on it daily.

Crews are busy at work taking a look at the additional 78 piers to make sure they catch any other hidden damage.

While safety is a top priority, lane and ramp closures between Pennsylvania and Western Ave. are creating a headache for drivers.

The bridge was already undergoing a routine rehabilitation project, but with this discovery of extensive damage, another design project is already in the works for more permanent repairs.

In the meantime, crews are adding steel beam support to add strength to the bridge.

ODOT hopes to open closed lanes on the bridge this month.  But, the on and off ramps between Penn and Western will be closed until at least June.

The ODOT meeting about the bridge will be today at 11 a.m. in the R.A. Ward Transportation Building, 200 N.E. 21st St. in Oklahoma City.