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First Phase Of Tulsa's Double Decker Bridge Project To Begin This Weekend

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Traffic moves on the bridges over the Arkansas River Friday May 13, 2011. Traffic moves on the bridges over the Arkansas River Friday May 13, 2011.
The map showing which ramps will close. The map showing which ramps will close.
An ODOT rendering of what the completed bridge will look like. An ODOT rendering of what the completed bridge will look like.

Emory Bryan, News On 6

TULSA, Oklahoma -- Another major road project that will impact traffic around downtown will get underway this weekend.  It's a bridge replacement over the Arkansas River.

The new bridge is what engineers describe as "multi-modal" - carrying all kinds of traffic, with a double decker design. Cars will go on top and eventually passenger rail will go underneath.

4/11/2011 Related Story: Construction On Tulsa's I-244 Bridge Project Set To Begin

For the demolition and construction, ODOT will use a crossover road to move all traffic onto the existing eastbound bridge. But that's still a month away.

In the meantime, the prep work will create congestion with blocked lanes eastbound and blocked off-ramps for westbound traffic.

Starting Friday night, the I-244 Bridge work will close two ramps that will stay closed for almost two years.  Drivers going westbound on the BA will have to exit at Houston because the ramp west over the bridge and the ramp north to Sand Springs, will close.

In addition, for the next few weekends, lane restrictions will be in place on the eastbound river bridge, while it's under repair so it can handle more traffic during construction.

"We actually do a considerable amount of repair work on the east bound lanes, so they will will able to accommodate traffic both east and west bound, all four lanes of traffic will come onto this bridge," Mike Webb with Manhattan Road & Bridge, said.

Replacing the bridge will impact all traffic crossing the river, and by the time it's done in 2013, ODOT hopes to have the money to replace the eastbound bridge; meaning the flow of traffic could be impacted for up to three years.

For the latest construction projects in and around Tulsa, check out's Daily Detour.

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