Oklahoma Department of Transportation (ODOT) has stressed that it does not believe any of its bridges are in any eminent danger from earthquakes, but wants to be prepared.
ODOT has not identified any damage caused by earthquakes since 2011. However, many of the state's highway bridges are very old and have pre-existing damage.
The contract approved by the Oklahoma Transportation Commission tasks the consultant to draft an inspection protocol, create a field inspection manual, provide training, write a draft of an earthquake response plan and evaluate three types of highway bridges for seismic vulnerability, among other tasks.
The department’s current procedure is to monitor earthquakes and check bridges in an 8km radius of the epicentre of any 4.0 magnitude or greater earthquake. If suspected damage is found, crews expand the inspection to all bridges in a 16km radius and extend farther out as needed if there is a nearby structurally deficient bridge.
In early 2014, ODOT met with California Department of Transportation officials, US Geological Survey and the Oklahoma Geological Survey to learn from their experiences and create an interim policy for post-earthquake inspections. They helped advise ODOT on what to look for and how to make rapid assessments after an earthquake.