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Duck Creek Bridge set to close in October, replacement expected by Memorial Day

Grand Lake community prepares for bridge closure
Posted at 5:32 PM, Sep 20, 2019
and last updated 2019-09-20 19:18:18-04

AFTON, Okla. — The Duck Creek Bridge is a major artery between the Ketchum and Afton communities.

It's also 100 years old, and ODOT staff tell 2 Works for You this replacement project is a long time coming.

"It is an older bridge, it's a narrow bridge... and there's a lot more traffic in this area. So we are to the point where we need to replace the bridge and put in a better, wider structure just to help handle the traffic demands in this area," Kenna Mitchell said.

That's a blow to marina business, which got a late start because of flooding this year.

The owner of Duck Creek Water Sport Rentals said he only made half the revenue expected for the season.

"If it does it again it could be the same thing where on a season you're losing 50, 60 thousand dollars just on a small business like this. The marinas themselves... all the small businesses around are losing that much or more," Troy Carpenter said.

The project is estimated to wrap up around Memorial Day. In the meantime, businesses on the lake rely on local traffic until boating season.

"We have several full-time people here that we have to figure out what we're going to do with through the winter season to keep them in a job. We rely a lot on our weekend business to help," said Harbors View Marina manager Robin Carpenter.

Carpenter said the timeline makes her nervous, because the summer season often begins before Memorial Day Weekend even starts.

"These kinds of projects almost never, it seems like, are done by the time they plan on them being done. You don't know what the weather is going to do to delay the construction of the new bridge so... they're cutting it really close," she said.

The project was originally supposed to start after Labor Day, but was delayed because of an equipment issue. Once closed, highway traffic will detour to US-60 and SH-82. The county is also working to improve local roads around the closure.

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