Beams from Tulsa bridge to be reused after removal

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Reported by: Tiffany Alaniz
Updated: 2/24 6:27 pm Published: 2/24 5:14 pm

TULSA, Okla. - A bridge beam recycling program is saving thousands of dollars in counties across Green Country.

FOX23 found 30-foot steel beams taken off the 46th Street North Bridge over Highway 169 just nine days ago will be reused.

The program was started a few years ago,. Tulsa is part of an 11-county circuit engineering district.

When a county takes down a bridge, it will save the beams. Then, the county will determine if they are still structurally sound.

“You know there could be deficiencies in concrete or other parts of the bridge, but we can still use these steel beams,” said Michael Willis, the Green County chief deputy commissioner.

County residents said they're glad the program will help.

"I think it's a good idea, and hopefully it will save a lot of money," said Toni Pierce.

The 30- and 60-foot beams are stored at the highway construction division yard. They can be used for bridges in any of the counties where they are needed, including Creek, Osage, Rogers, and Pawnee.

“It's very helpful to some of the smaller counties in Oklahoma that have lower populations, because they don't get as much highway or road funding as a larger county, like Tulsa County, can get," said Willis.

Officials told FOX23 that if a county reused seven or eight beams to build a small bridge, it would save $14,000.

For a large bridge, five or six steel beams would be a savings of $34,000.

And they can be reconfigured to fit the need.

“Oftentimes you may not need a 60 foot beam, so they can cut part of it off," said Willis.

The program started after a change in the law allowing the state Department of Transportation to take beams down and reuse them.

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