State Rep. criticizes $4.5 million "bridge to nowhere"
Most of the time a riverbed in Reed in Greer County is dried up and less than 25-people drive over it per day. But when the rain does come and it floods, Greer county leaders say this bridge becomes a death trap.
"Return the money to the taxpayers it's just a waste of money," said state Rep. Mike Reynolds (R-Oklahoma City).
Representative Mike Reynolds calls the plan to build a $4.5 million dollar bridge here "the bridge to nowhere."
"We've got so many more places in Oklahoma screaming out for bridge repair and in need of bridges," said Reynolds.
Money for the project comes from the county improvements for roads and bridges program created in 2006.
Greer County Engineer Monte Goucher says this is anything but the bridge to nowhere. He says it's the bridge to economic development and growth.
"I guess if you don't live in south Oklahoma city you must live nowhere," said Goucher, "but we are somewhere and western Oklahoma is important."
Greer says his county would never be able to make improvements to infrastructure without this program and it's about time they got a share of taxpayer money.
"We care, and we're taxpayers and we live out here too," said Goucher.
But representative Reynolds says that money would be better used on bridges with more traffic than 25-cars a day.
"We need to change whatever the approval process is because this is ridiculous," said Reynolds.
Goucher believes if they build it, traffic will come, and more importantly, he's not going to wait for the day someone is killed trying to cross this riverbed.
"I might not have 18,000 cars a day, but when I get done with this if I get 100-200 vehicles per day I can promise you it's gonna be an important 100-200 vehicles," said Goucher.
The Oklahoma Department of Transportation says it is "comfortable with the thorough review process this project has undergone" and it ensures state funds are used to provide quality construction on worthy county projects.