Protective species delays Bartlesville bridge work until August


The city of Bartlesville struggles with delays on a more than $1 million bridge rehabilitation project after bats and mussels were discovered in the area a few months ago.

It was reported in January when divers had to enter the Caney River to verify the existence of mussels which are protected and considered endangered. As a result, the $1.2 million Tuxedo Bridge project was postponed and bids won’t be taken until sometime this summer.

Engineering Director Micah Siemers  recently told City Beat of the delays in the project.

“We have had Tuxedo Bridge reduced to one lane westbound for more than a year due to the time it takes to plan and design a project of this magnitude, and also delays after it was determined that we would need to work around the presence of bats under the bridge deck and mussels in the river below,” Siemers said.

“Between the two, we essentially have to wait until this summer to bid the project and closer to September to start the project. So currently, that is the plan.”

Siemers had told reporters some months ago the discovery of the mussels was a surprise and the city had not anticipated their existence.

Because of the delays, construction  to resolve deficiencies in the bridge might not begin until August or evenSeptember. It could take up to nine months to complete the improvements.

Source: City Beat