The South Ninth Avenue Bridge over Mineral Bayou Creek opened at 5 p.m. Friday after road workers moved the barricades that had been there since Nov. 7 while a new bridge was being built.
Durant/Bryan County Emergency Management Director James Dalton said the opening was five weeks ahead of schedule.
“ODOT officials had anticipated that the project would take 130 calendar days to complete, but the contractor was able to complete the project in 88 days,” Dalton said, in a news release.
Among those who watched the bridge opening was Ronald Umsted, owner of Umsted Body Shop. He said that himself and other business owners in the area had lost business due to the bridge closure.
However, he praised the construction workers for getting the job done and said they even worked in conditions that he would not have been willing to do.
“They done a bang-up job,” Umsted said.
Dalton said motorists should continue to drive cautiously and watch for highway construction workers in the area as the US-69B (South Ninth Avenue) widening project from the Mineral Bayou Bridge to Choctaw Road continues. Reduced speed limits are posted and will be enforced for worker safety.
“The City of Durant would like to thank all citizens for their cooperation during this event,” Dalton said.