COLLINSVILLE, Okla. — Cherokee Nation leaders joined Tulsa County officials to cut the ribbon on a $2.1 million bridge replacement project on Tuesday, Dec. 6, in Collinsville.
The Cherokee Nation secured $1 million in Tribal Transportation Bridge Program funding for the joint project with Oklahoma Department of Transportation and Tulsa County to replace the Horsepen Creek Bridge, located on 137th East Avenue between 161st Street North and 166th Street North.
Cherokee Nation Principal Chief Chuck Hoskin Jr., District 14 Councilor Keith Austin, Treasurer Janees Taylor and CNB board member Brent Taylor joined Tulsa County Commissioner Stan Sallee, Tulsa County Chief Deputy Mike Craddock, Tulsa County Engineer Alex Mills and Collinsville City Manager Pam Polk to celebrate the project’s completion.
“It’s an important day any time we can make progress in infrastructure in the Cherokee Nation Reservation,” Chief Hoskin said. “I can tell you that we do not have a stronger partner in that effort than Tulsa County. We also work so well with the Oklahoma Department of Transportation, and of course, we work well with the city of Collinsville. This bridge project is about public safety and providing a more efficient way to get from Point A to Point B. This bridge is an important and impactful investment. It is about the power of partnership and the power of friendship. We can get so much more done together. Cherokee Nation is uniquely situated as a sovereign Indian nation to harness federal dollars and to pull in, at times, our own dollars for causes that are important. The idea that a sovereign Indian nation can do this is something that I know is not lost on the residents of this area. Cherokee Nation’s sovereignty can be leveraged and is leveraged for so much good.”
The Cherokee Nation secured $1 million in Tribal Transportation Bridge Program funding for the joint project with the Oklahoma Department of Transportation and Tulsa County to replace the Horsepen Creek Bridge, located on 137th East Avenue between 161st Street North and 166th Street North near Collinsville.
The Horsepen Creek Bridge was previously shut down for nearly two years after being deemed unsafe to travel on in January 2021. The bridge underwent a $2.1 million redesign over a five-month period.
“The people who live north of here are the very furthest north residents of Tulsa County, and every one of them needs to make sure that they have a safe, good bridge to get to work, to get to school, to get to their community, to get to church,” Councilor Austin said. “This bridge provides that.”
The new bridge will also provide more efficient bus routes for students in the area who attend Collinsville Public Schools.
“This is also a bus route and it was a traffic safety issue for the buses and the students going to school at Collinsville,” Polk said. “The partnerships between us all have just been amazing. Together, we do get more done.”
Sallee said the partnership between Cherokee Nation and Tulsa County has never been stronger.
“The things we’ve been able to do in this area have been phenomenal and very impactful to both the residents of Tulsa County and the citizens of Cherokee Nation,” Sallee said. “We’ve made huge strides in this region — in both District 13 and District 14 for the Cherokee Nation – and we have great partners out there.”
Each year the Cherokee Nation sets aside funding for road projects throughout the 14-county reservation area. Since 2019, the tribe has helped fund construction and rehabilitation projects for more than 140 miles of roads and bridges throughout the Cherokee Nation Reservation at a total investment of more than $28.5 million.