|Updated: 10/17/2012 4:06 pm
||Published: 10/15/2012 4:13 pm
I-244 over 3rd street/Charles Page Blvd. remains closed after being hit by a truck Monday afternoon.
ODOT officials hope to have a repair plan in place by Friday.
The wreck happened around noon on Monday when a truck with its bed raised ran into the I-244 bridge over 3rd Street on the west side of the IDL. The accident forced officials to close the eastbound lanes, redirecting traffic on to Highway 51.
Oklahoma Department of Transportation engineers are inspecting the bridge to come up with best and quickest way to repair the highway. The engineers are expected to finalize the repair plan on Friday. Officials with ODOT said the affected lanes of the bridge would remain closed until the repairs are complete.
But the closure is already causing traffic problems around the area.
"A lot of traffic coming into my neighborhood, thinking that they can get the ramp to get up on the highway," Ayoola Olaniran, who lives near the bridge, said.
Confused, frustrated drivers are nothing new in Olaniran's neighborhood, though, and neither is the noise of construction.
Construction crews just recently finished a months-long project to rebuild and paint the bridge that was hit.
"The noise, the dust, the vibrations and everything of that stuff that was involved in the old process, it will stick and come back again,' Olaniran said.
"I work overnight and come back early in the morning. I won't be able to sleep."
Malaica Larson works for a law office nearby, and said clients were excited the construction was finally over and that they would have an easier time getting to her office. Now, she said, they're complaining and bracing for round two of work on the bridge.
"Trying to get from downtown over here, you know, we had to detour them," Larson said. "And there's not a lot of ways to do that."
But Larson's frustration was tempered with concern.
"[I'm] wondering how in the world it could have happened," she said. "And then wondering if he was ok."
Knowing the driver is, in fact, ok, both Larson and Olaniran said there's nothing else they can do but try to stay patient.
The truck driver had to get stitches on his face, but reportedly was wearing his seatbelt and suffered no other injuries.
It's unclear whether the driver will be ticketed.
The driver works for a company called Smithey Environmental Services, LLC. The company declined to comment on the incident to FOX23 News, but company officials said they are insured for this kind of incident.
Officials with ODOT tell FOX23 News that the company, not the taxpayers, will be responsible for paying the bill for the bridge repairs.
ODOT tells FOX23 engineers are checking options for the most expeditious repair plan to restore traffic. Engineers are working on different design options to select the best one and hope to finalize the details and the traffic information on the repair by Friday.