Big rigs banned from dam

Staff writer

Large motor homes, fifth-wheelers, and other large vehicles are now too heavy to cross the dam at Marion Reservoir.

The road across the dam now has a six-ton weight limit.

The road passing over the bridge has developed stress fractures, Brannen Parrish, spokesman for Tulsa District Army Corp of Engineers said.

The road that passes across the top of the dam is a separate structure from the dam itself, Parrish said. The road is actually a bridge across the dam.

“There are a couple of cracks on the box beams,” Parrish said. “We do regular bridge inspections and they noticed this and said they need to load post it. We have to do this as a proactive thing until we can get the road repaired.”

The dam is in fine condition, Parrish said.

Signs limiting the weight for vehicles to 6 tons were put up Tuesday morning.

Recreational users with vehicles or combinations of vehicles and trailers over 6 tons that have used the dam road to access Marion Cove and Cottonwood Point should instead use Pawnee Rd.

“Do we think an accident would happen right now?” Parrish said. “No. But we’ve had to reduce the load for public safety purposes.”

Parrish said money for the road repair is already budgeted

“We are currently working on the design to replace the bridge,” Parrish said.

County road and bridge superintendent Jesse Hamm said he believes Pawnee Rd. will hold up to the heavier-weight traffic being diverted from the dam. A bridge a half mile north of US-56 was built in 2006 and is in good condition, Hamm said.

“Pawnee is gravel from 56 to the north side of the dam,” Hamm said.

Despite his confidence that things will be fine with Pawnee Rd., he will go look at its condition, Hamm said.

“I’m not too concerned,” Hamm said.

Last modified Nov. 30, 2016

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