Roads Program oversees Sequoyah County bridge repair
A Paradigm Construction and Engineering crew of Tulsa, Okla., works to extend and shore up the Bradley Ford Bridge over Little Lee Creek near Nicut in Sequoyah County. COURTESY PHOTO
People observe the Bradley Ford Bridge after part of it washed out in April following 11 inches of rain. The bridge serves the communities of Nicut and Belfonte in Sequoyah County. COURTESY PHOTO
An 80-foot expansion was recently added to the Bradley Ford Bridge that serves the communities of Nicut and Belfonte in Sequoyah County. The bridge’s southern abutment was reinforced with stones after it washed away from heavy rains in April. COURTESY PHOTO
Repairs to the Bradley Ford Bridge in Sequoyah County were completed in November. Water flows more freely under the bridge after it was extended 80 feet. COURTESY PHOTO
NICUT, Okla. – The Bradley Ford Bridge over Little Lee Creek in northern Sequoyah County is once again passable again thanks to the Cherokee Nation’s Roads Program.
The bridge’s south abutment washed out in April when heavy rains swept away dirt and rock surrounding the abutment, causing the south end of the bridge to collapse.
“The water just got up so high and it started swirling and eating the earth on one end of the bridge. Literally, the bridge was hanging out in mid-air, sitting on top of beams that are driven down in the soil all the way to bedrock,” Roads Program Director Michael Lynn said.
He said the road the bridge is a part of was already on the Roads Program’s construction list but not scheduled for work. The bridge’s collapse altered plans, however.
“The county came to us after the abutment washed out, and we worked out a situation with them so that they could engineer and design the repair, which actually ended up being a bridge extension,” Lynn said.
Paradigm Construction and Engineering, of Tulsa, was chosen to extend and repair the bridge with a bid of $860,000, which was paid by the Roads Program using federal Indian Reservation Roads funds the CN annually receives.
“They went in and added an additional 80-foot span to the existing bridge,” Lynn said.
The additional length gives the water a larger “throat” to flow through, which should prevent another washout from occurring. In 2000, support around the same abutment washed out, but the county was able refill the area and make repairs.
Paradigm began repairing and extending the bridge in mid-May and finished in November. Tribal and county officials dedicated the new bridge span on Nov. 19.
Lynn said residents had to take a 9-mile detour while the bridge was out, which was a “headache” for them.
Dist. 3 Tribal Councilor Janelle Fullbright said while the bridge was out people were able to use a low-water bridge to cross Little Lee Creek, which at times was hazardous.
She said people used the detour when water flowed over the low-water bridge and that a woman recently had to be rescued from it because she misjudged the depth of the creek flowing over the bridge and became stranded in her car.
“People are happy the bridge is done,” Fullbright said.
The Bradley Ford Bridge is also part of one of the bus routes used by Belfonte Schools in Sequoyah County. Belfonte now oversees the Bell School system in southern Adair County. Buses and staff from both schools use the bridge traveling back and forth between the schools.
The Roads Program will next manage work on approximately five miles of the nearby Nicut South Road that ties in with the Kirk Mountain or Nicut North Road project. That project will take the road into the Nicut community.
Nicut, ᎣᎦᎵᎰᎹ. – ᎾᏍᎩ Bradley Ford Bridge ᎾᏍᎩ ᏣᏒᏠ ᎤᏍᏗ Lee ᎤᏪᏴ ᎾᎿ ᎤᏴᏢᎢᏗᏢ ᏍᏏᏉᏲ ᏍᎦᏚᎩ ᎾᏍᎩᏃ ᎢᎸᏋ ᎥᎦᎶᎯᏍᏗ ᎠᎾᎵᎮᎵᏤ ᏣᎳᎩ ᎠᏰᎵ ᏕᎦᏅᏅᎢ ᎤᎾᏙᏢᎯ.
ᎾᏍᎩᎾ ᎠᏒᏢ ᎤᎦᎾᏮ ᎦᎫᏍᏛᏛ ᎤᎿᎲᏍᏔᏅ ᎨᏎ ᎾᏍᎩ ᎧᏬᏂ ᏥᎧᎸ ᎤᎪᏗ ᏧᎦᎿᏅ ᎦᏃᎱᎦᏅ ᎤᏫᏛᎲ ᎦᏓ ᎠᎴ ᏅᏯ ᎤᎵᏍᏕᎸᏙᏛ ᎠᏒᏢ ᎦᎫᏍᏓᎥ ᎾᏍᎩᏃ ᏂᏧᎵᏍᏙᏔᏁ ᎤᎦᎾᏮ ᎢᏗᏢ ᎤᎵᏍᏛ ᎠᏒᏢ ᎤᏲᏨ.
“ᎾᏍᎩ ᎠᎹ ᎢᎦ ᎤᎪᏛ ᏄᎵᏍᏔᏅ ᎤᎴᏅᎲ ᎠᏕᏲᎲ ᎦᏓ ᎠᏫᏗᏍᎬ ᎾᎿ ᎤᎵᏍᏛ ᎠᏒᏢᎢ. ᏙᎯᏳ ᎨᏒ ᎠᏒᏢ ᏄᏍᏛᏊ ᎰᏩᏮ ᏂᏗᎦᏂᏴᏛᎾ, ᎠᏢᏋ ᏧᏔᏂ ᏕᎨᏛ ᎭᏣᏂ ᏅᏲ ᏫᏗᎬᏩᎷᏨ ᏕᎨᏛᎢ,” ᎠᏗᏍᎬ Michael Lynn ᏕᎦᏅᏅ ᎤᎾᏙᏢ ᎠᏓᏅᏖᎵᏙᎯ.
ᎤᏛᏅ ᎾᏍᎩ ᏅᏃᎯ ᎾᏍᎩ ᏣᏒᏢ ᎦᏳᎳ ᎪᏪᎸ ᎾᎿ ᏕᎦᏅᏅ ᎤᎾᏙᏢᎯ ᎣᏍᏓ ᎢᏧᏅᏗ ᎪᏪᎵ ᏚᏂᎾᎥᎢ, ᏧᏲᏨ ᎠᏒᏢ ᎤᏯᏄᎳᏛᏊ ᎣᏍᏓ ᎢᏳᏅᏗᎢ.
“ᎾᏍᎩ ᏍᎦᏚᎩ ᎤᏂᎷᏨᎦᏳᎳ ᏕᎦᎫᏍᏓᎥ ᎤᏃᎱᎦᏅᎥ, ᎠᎴ ᏙᎦᎵᏃᎮᏢ ᎣᏍᏓ ᏙᎦᏙᎵᏨ ᎾᏍᎩ ᎤᎾᎦᏎᏍᏙᏗ ᎤᏃᏢᏗ ᏧᎾᏟᎶᏍᏙᏗ ᎾᎿ ᎣᏍᏓ ᎢᎬᏁᏗ, ᎤᏂᏍᏆᏓᏃ ᎠᎾᏓᏅᏖᏍᎬ ᎤᏂᏅᎯᏛ ᎠᏒᏢᎢ,” ᎠᏗᏍᎬᎢ Lynn. Paradigm Construction ᎠᎴ Engineering, of Tulsa, ᎤᎾᏙᏢᏒ ᏚᎾᏑᏰᏒ ᎾᏍᎩ ᎤᏂᏅᎯᏗᏍᏗ ᎠᎴ ᎣᏍᏓ ᎢᏳᏅᏗ ᎠᏒᏢ ᎾᏍᎩ ᏚᏂᎬᏩᏝᏅ ᏁᎳᏧᏢ ᏯᎦᏴᎵ ᏑᏓᎵᏍᎪ ᏯᎦᏴᎵ ᎠᏕᎸᎢ, ᎾᏍᎩ ᏕᎦᏅᏅ ᎤᎾᏙᏢᎯ ᎤᎾᏈᏴᏗ ᏧᏅᏙᏗ ᎠᏂᏴᏫᏯ ᎠᏎᎸ ᏗᎪᎥᎢ ᏅᏃᎯ ᎣᏍᏓ ᎢᏧᏅᏙᏗ ᏣᎳᎩ ᎠᏰᎵ ᏗᏂᎩᏍᎪ ᏂᏓᏕᏘᏴᎯᏒᎢ.
“ᎤᏂᎷᏨᏃ ᎠᎴ ᎤᏂᏅᎯᏛ ᏁᎵᏍᎪ ᎢᎳᏏᏓ ᎾᏃ ᏥᏄᏍᏛ ᎠᏒᏢᎢ,” ᎠᏗᏍᎬᎢ Lynn.
ᎯᎢᎾ ᎤᏂᏅᎯᏛ ᎤᏔᎾ “ᎠᏴᏣᏓ” ᎾᏍᎩ ᎠᎹ ᎤᎶᎯᏍᏗ, ᎾᏍᎩ ᎠᎭᎷᎩᏍᎩ ᏏᏊ ᎾᏍᎩ ᎤᏃᎱᎪᏙᏗᎢ. ᎾᏍᎩ ᏔᎵ ᏯᎦᏴᎵ ᏥᎨᏒ, ᎾᏍᎩ ᎤᎵᏍᏕᎸᏙᏛ ᎦᎫᏍᏓᎥ ᎾᏍᎩ ᏧᏃᎱᎪᏔᏅ, ᎠᏎᏍᎩᏂ ᏍᎦᏚᎩ ᎡᎵᏊ ᏧᏂᎧᎵᎸ ᎠᎴ ᎣᏍᏓ ᏥᏄᎾᏁᎸᎢ.
Paradigm ᎤᎾᎴᏅᎲ ᎣᏍᏓ ᎾᏅᏁᎲ ᎠᎴ ᎠᏂᏅᎯᏗᏍᎬ ᎠᏒᏢ ᎠᏰᏟ ᎤᏂᎩᏓ ᎠᏂᏍᎬᏘ ᎧᎸ ᎤᎾᎴᏅᎲ ᎠᎴ ᏅᏓᏕᏆ ᎧᎸ ᎤᏂᏍᏆᏛᎢ.
Lynn ᎠᏗᏍᎬ ᎾᎿ ᏗᏂᏁᎳ ᏐᏁᎳ ᎢᏳᏟᎶᏓ ᎠᎾᏕᏲᎲ ᎾᎿ ᎾᏒᏢᎾ ᏥᎨᏒ, ᏅᏍᎩᏃ “ᎤᏦᏎᏗ” ᎨᏒᎢ.
ᏍᎦᏚᎩ ᏦᎢ ᏗᎦᎳᏫᎦ Janelle Fullbright ᎠᏗᏍᎬ ᎾᏍᎩ ᎾᏒᏢᎾ ᏥᎨᏒ ᎠᏂᏴᏫ ᎠᏅᏗᏍᎬ ᎡᎳᏗ ᎠᎹ ᏗᏒᏢ ᏓᏂᎾᏗᏫᏍᎬ ᎤᏍᏗ ᎵᎢ ᎤᏪᏴ, ᎾᏍᎩᏍᏊ ᏴᏓᎭ ᎤᏦᏎᏗ ᎨᏒ ᏗᎦᎾᏗᏫᏍᏗᎢ.
ᎠᏗᏍᎬ ᎠᏂᏴᏫ ᎠᎾᏕᏲᎲ ᎾᏒᏢᎾ ᏥᎨᏒ ᏴᏓᎭ ᎠᎹ ᎦᎶᏍᎬ ᎠᏒᏢ ᎦᏚᏗᏝ ᎯᎠ ᎠᎨᏯ ᏴᏓᎭ ᏩᏍᏕᎸᏓ ᎨᏒ ᎦᏅᏗᏍᎬ ᎢᏗᏝ ᎤᎶᎯᏍᏗ ᎤᏅᏬᏗᎨ ᎨᏒ ᏂᎪᎯᎸ ᎠᏍᏛᎬ ᎢᏗᏝ ᎠᏁᎶᏗᏍᎬ ᎤᎶᎯᏍᏗ ᏩᏍᏕᎸᏗ ᎨᏒᎢ.
“ᎠᏂᏴᏫ ᎢᎦ ᎠᎾᎵᎮᎵᎦ ᎾᎿ ᎠᏒᏢ ᏃᏊ ᎤᎵᏍᏆᏛ ᎨᏒᎢ,” ᎠᏗᏍᎬ Fullbright.
ᎾᏍᎩ Bradley Ford ᎠᏒᏢ ᎾᏍᏊ ᏗᎾᏕᎶᏆᏍᎩ ᎤᎾᏦᏙᏗ ᎤᎶᎯᏍᏗ ᏧᏲᎱᏒ ᏧᎾᏕᎶᏆᏍᏗ ᎾᎿ ᏏᏉᏲ ᏍᎦᏚᎩ. ᏧᏲᎱᏒ ᏃᏊ ᎤᎾᏚᏓᎸᎾ ᏓᏂᏍᏕᎵᏍᎪ ᎤᎭᎸᏂ ᏧᎾᏕᎶᏆᏍᏗ ᎤᏙᏢᏒ ᎾᎿ ᎤᎦᎾᏮ ᎢᏗᏢ ᏓᏫᏍᎦᎶ ᏍᎦᏚᎩ, ᏗᎾᏕᎶᏆᏍᎩ ᏧᎾᏦᏙᏗ ᎠᎴ ᎾᎿ ᏧᏂᎸᏫᏍᏓᏁᎯ ᎠᏅᏗᏍᎪ ᎯᎠ ᎠᏒᏢ ᎠᏂᎷᎬ ᎠᎴ ᎠᎾᏂᎩᏍᎬᎢ.
ᎾᎿ ᏕᎦᏅᏅ ᎠᎾᏓᏅᏖᎵᏙ ᎤᎾᏙᏢᎯ ᏃᏊ ᏛᎬᏂᏃᎮᏠᏟ ᏧᏂᎸᏫᏍᏓᏁᏗ ᎯᏍᎩ ᎢᏳᏟᎶᏓ ᎾᎥ Nicut ᎤᎦᎾᏮ ᏅᏃᎯ ᎾᏍᎩ ᏫᎦᏂᏴᏗᏍᎬ Kirk ᏦᏓᎸ ᎠᎴᏱᎦ Nicut ᎤᏴᏢ ᏅᏃᎯ ᎠᏎᎸᎢ. ᎯᎠ ᎤᎾᏎᎸ ᏅᏃᎯ ᏫᎦᎷᎦ ᎾᎿ Nicut ᏍᎦᏚᎩ.