Culvert report: rebuilding the deteriorating pipe

Over the last 50 years, a culvert, or pipe, has been slowly deteriorating underneath Meadow Brook Rd. OU plans to do some construction to fix it over the summer.

They were tossing around the idea of just building a bridge across the road, but they decided on building a new culvert to replace the one that is already there. The section that will be under construction is on the hill that leads to the apartments.

“The bridge would be completed by September 2016. The culvert will be completed by October 2015,” John Beaghan, vice president for Finance and Administration, said.

In August 2014, the OU made repairs to the culvert, but it appears that the emergency supports won’t hold out for another year, so they had to make this decision rather quickly. They also had to take into account what would be best for the students.

Since the bridge won’t be completed until September 2016, it will block off a heavily trafficked area of OU’s roads. It would particularly inconvenience those who live in the apartments.

On top of that, building a new culvert is significantly cheaper than a bridge.

“The bridge cost would be approximately $5.1 million. The culvert cost is approximately $2.9 million,” Beaghan said. “At this cost differential, there is no advantage to building a bridge, which is why the board approved the culvert proposal.”

Unfortunately, since the culvert isn’t planned to be finished until October, that portion of Meadow Brook Rd. will be closed when students come back to school. For residents who do a lot of driving, this might not be the welcome back they are hoping for.

“I leave campus four or five times a week,” sophomore Erin Worman said.

For students who leave campus often for either work or recreational reasons, the new construction may leave them leaving later than they hoped.

“It would make things inconvenient, but I leave during times when it isn’t a high traffic area,” Worman said. “When classes get out, it will probably make it difficult to leave campus when so many other people are leaving at the same time.”

Though it might make driving at the beginning of the school year a hassle, the new construction will ensure that Meadow Brook Rd. remains a safe place to drive. After all, the emergency supports won’t hold out forever.