Work would begin in 2024
Upon receiving community feedback through survey in July 2023, City of Norman staff finalized a Bridge Maintenance Bond Program and completed required steps to present a proposition to Norman voters on October 10, 2023. Passage of the proposition would provide essential funding to replace, repair and rehabilitate up to 18 bridges. The City of Norman is solely responsible for the maintenance of 80 bridges, with a quarter being constructed prior to 1950.
“Bridges connect our community,” said Shawn O’Leary, City of Norman Director of Public Works. “As no sustainable and consistent funding source for bridge replacement or major rehabilitation currently exists in Norman, discussions regarding a City of Norman Bridge Maintenance Bond Program began in Fall 2022. A 10-year, $50 million program is being proposed that will also include contingency funding for unexpected changes in priority when emergencies may strike – four major bridge failures have occurred in Norman since 2016: Havenbrook Street Bridge, West Main Street Bridge, Imhoff Road Bridge and 60th Avenue NE Bridge. We are looking forward to opportunities to share the importance of reliable infrastructure in our community as we draw closer to the October vote.”
Outlined projects, which touch every ward, were compiled using detailed bridge inspection data completed by a third party engineering firm. By federal law, each of the City’s 80 bridges receive a detailed inspection and evaluation every two years. In addition to creating safer and more reliable bridge infrastructure for travel in the Norman community, passage of the proposition would also include an increase to property taxes over a 20-year period. Per month, general estimates entail: $2.44 for a $100,000 home, $5.10 for a $200,000 home, and $7.75 for a $300,000 home. The proposed tax change would be in place for a minimum of 20 years if the program is approved by Norman voters.
Norman City Council set this proposition to go to a vote of the people during a public meeting on August 8, 2023. The deadline to register to vote to cast a ballot in this election is September 15; the deadline to request an absentee ballot is September 25. Early Voting will take place October 5 and 6. To learn more about the voting process, contact the Cleveland County Election Board or Oklahoma State Election Board.
Learn more, see FAQs, view ballot language or informational videos at www.normanok.gov/BridgeByBridge.