Concrete chunks falling from railroad overpass concerns residents

BRISTOW, Okla. - Some people living in Bristow say they're worried for their safety. Concrete chunks are falling from an aging railroad overpass that cars drive under every day on S. 273rd West Avenue.

Retired firefighter Jerald Lovell knows the roads and bridges between Bristow and Kellyville as well as anyone.

In the last few months, Jerald has watched his head every time he drives under a train overpass by his home.

"This is all concrete that's fell off and hit the ground," he said, picking up a large chunk of concrete. "We're talking huge. These things will hurt somebody bad."

Residents say conditions have worsened over the past six months. Jerald has documented the damage by taking photos of it.

O-DOT says the state leases the bridge to Watco Companies Stillwater Central Railroad and they're responsible for any repairs and inspections.

"I'm worried someone's going to get hurt out here on this train track. I'm afraid we're going to have a derailment," Lovell said.

Jerald isn't the only one concerned. Other neighbors tell us when a train is overhead, they worry about chunks of concrete falling on them.

Amber Horacek drives under the overpass about five times a day. She says she holds her breath when a train goes by and she's underneath it in a car with her three daughters.

"Just kind of hoped and prayed nothing would fall on you. Just kind of gun it and go through it," Horacek said.

Jerald says he hasn't seen a railroad worker out inspecting the overpass and his calls go unanswered.
After 2News made a few phone calls ourselves, Watco Companies sent someone out to check on the bridge.

"I just want this thing fixed. Someone to do something about it before somebody gets hurt," Lovell said.

Watco Companies never returned our phone calls. But the railroad worker on scene told us since there's steel underneath the concrete, and it's just a "surface issue." He took some photos and says they'll reassess the overpass.
 

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