(L to R) Cherokee Nation Roads Director Michael Lynn, Guy Engineering President John Blickensderfer, Infrastructure Data Coordinator Sherry Waters, Mayes County Commissioner Ryan Ball, Principal Chief Bill John Baker, Deputy Chief S. Joe Crittenden and Tribal Councilors Janees Taylor and Curtis Snell.
Published March 6, 2016
SALINA, OKLAHOMA — The Cherokee Nation dedicated the newly constructed $1.7 million Wickliffe Creek Bridge with other dignitaries in Mayes County in Oklahoma this past Tuesday.
The tribe recently completed the bridge project, located about three miles east of Salina on Kenwood Road, using funds from the Tribal Transportation Program budget.
The former bridge was deemed unsafe for travel, because of a sufficiency rating of 18.5 percent. Mayes County officials provided the acquisition of right-of-way easements required to build the bridge and helped relocate utilities.
“We are a proud partner with our friends at the county government to complete this enhancement project and ensure this bridge remains safe for the families traveling across it day in and day out,” said Cherokee Nation Deputy Principal Chief S. Joe Crittenden. “When we work in tandem, like we did here in Mayes County, we have the opportunity to leverage the capability of all public safety partners and deliver more to our citizens.”
The Cherokee Nation also paved nearly a one-half mile of new roadway at the bridge project site.
“If you pay attention and realize what the state legislature is going through, those budget cuts trickle down to us, and without the cooperation from the Cherokee Nation on projects like Wickliffe Creek Bridge, these improvements just wouldn’t happen,” Mayes County Commissioner Ryan Ball said at the bridge dedication.
Guy Engineering designed the bridge, while Bronze Oak served as the contractor.
“The great thing about infrastructure development is that the Cherokee Nation is able to help Cherokees and non-Cherokees alike,” said Tribal Councilor Curtis Snell, of Rose. “We are able to make this contribution to our communities by partnering with our county commissioners and identifying areas that would benefit from enhancing our county roads and bridges.”
Cherokee Nation completed more than 72 miles of roadway and two bridge projects in fiscal year 2015 for more than $7.1 million.