Cherokee Nation Dedicates Washington County Bridge

Cherokee Nation and Washington County officials joined area citizens to dedicate the Matoaka Bridge 84 project in Washington County.

Published August 28, 2017

OCHELATA, OKLAHOMA – Cherokee Nation and Washington County officials dedicated the new Matoaka Bridge 84 project in Washington County recently.

Repairs to the former single-lane bridge built in 1941 totaled more than $725,000. More than $700,000 of the repair cost was covered by the tribe, with a remaining $25,000 covered by Washington County.

“Projects like bridge 84 in Matoaka are opportunities for Cherokee Nation to work with local and state entities for the greater good,” said Cherokee Nation Secretary of State Chuck Hoskin Jr. “Thanks to funds from our Tribal Transportation Bridge Program and the work of our dedicated employees, we are able to not only improve the road, but provide a level of safety and efficiency that both Cherokees and non-Cherokees in this area can benefit from.”

The new bridge is 83 feet long and 15 ½ feet wide and includes elements like new parapet walls and a new guardrail, which meet the most up-to-date safety regulations.

“The contributions that Cherokee Nation continually makes across this area, from the casino that employs hundreds to the beautiful 28,000-square-foot health center that our citizens use every day, I can’t say enough good things,” said Washington County District 3 Commissioner Mike Dunlap. “This bridge is important to our citizens and their safety, and I am eternally grateful to Cherokee Nation for making this a priority.”

The project also included 1,037 feet of new roadway and stream bank stabilization.

“This bridge is a critical part of so many lives here in Washington County, and I’m proud to say that, with these improvements, it should be around for years to come,” said Cherokee Nation Tribal Councilor Dick Lay. “Partnerships like this one with Commissioner Dunlap are important and a big part of the positive work that we do in my district day in and day out.”

In fiscal year 2016, the Cherokee Nation improved more than 53 miles of roadway and five bridges at a cost of $23.6 million.

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