OKLAHOMA CITY (KOKH) — Portions of a bridge over a major thoroughfare in Oklahoma City have collapsed and will impact traffic indefinitely.
The Oklahoma City Police Department reports that just after 2:40 p.m. May 19 the northbound lanes of the May Avenue bridge has collapsed onto Northwest Expressway. Police confirmed that a flatbed semi carrying a "boom lift" driving in the westbound lanes of Northwest Expressway struck the bridge causing the collapse.
The driver told police he was able to make it under the bridge in the eastbound lanes earlier in the day and assumed he would be able to make it through the westbound lanes. OKCFD reports a difference of four inches in height between the east and westbound lanes under the bridge. The driver was not injured in the crash.
All lanes of Northwest Expressway and May Avenue are currently shut down in the area until further notice, according to the City of Oklahoma City. Engineers are currently inspecting the damage to the bridge. An estimate on the time needed for bridge repairs won't be available until Friday at the earliest. Detours in the area are marked with signs.
Oklahoma City estimates that the bridge sees 20,000 cars daily. It was last inspected in August 2014 and is inspected ever other year. Two similar crashes have occurred at the bridge. In 1993, an eastbound tractor-trailer struck the bridge and was later repaired. In 2014, a semi carrying tankers struck the bridge and became stuck.
The city will deliver a media update at 11 a.m. Friday.