ODOT Plans Long Term Fix For Weakening I-44 Bridge Over Lynn Lan - NewsOn6.com - Tulsa, OK - News, Weather, Video and Sports - KOTV.com |

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ODOT Plans Long Term Fix For Weakening I-44 Bridge Over Lynn Lane

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Crews were back Thursday working on a bridge of Interstate 44 near the Hard Rock Casino. Crews were back Thursday working on a bridge of Interstate 44 near the Hard Rock Casino.
"You do get used to it after a while," said Tulsa resident Larry Deckard. "You do get used to it after a while," said Tulsa resident Larry Deckard.
The bridges on I-44 are just two of more than 500 across the state ODOT hopes to replace by the end of 2020. The bridges on I-44 are just two of more than 500 across the state ODOT hopes to replace by the end of 2020.
TULSA, Oklahoma -

Crews were back Thursday working on a bridge of Interstate 44 near the Hard Rock Casino. It's the same spot where they did emergency patch work just two months ago.

The good news is, the Oklahoma Department of Transportation says a long term fix is on the way. The bad news: when it begins, traffic will be tied up in orange barrels there for more than a year.

While the eventual goal is to make the highway four lanes in both directions, drivers on I-44 had better get used to seeing only one lane open at times, as crews replace the bridges there that are more than 50 years old.

"You do get used to it after a while," said Tulsa resident Larry Deckard.

Deckard has a front row seat to the widening and bridge repair project happening across Lynn Lane.

6/3/2013 Related Story: Construction Delays Expected On Tulsa's I-44 At 177th East Avenue

He said I-44 has become a life line for him and his family.

"I'm sure our route will change, as far as going to work and coming home," Deckard said.

Two weeks ago, crews began building up the ground for what will eventually become the outside lanes for traffic headed out of town. Once that phase is complete, the west bound bridge will be torn out, and traffic heading into Tulsa will be moved over.

Luckily for Deckard, the blow is being softened a little by the promise of a sound-dampening wall that will eventually go up.

"It will be between our street and the highway. Exactly how that's going to look, I don't know," he said.

Behind that wall, crews will be working to build one large bridge, capable of carrying eight lanes of traffic.

"This was a project we identified as being a critical need here in the area," said Kenna Carmon, with ODOT.

Carmon said more than 70,000 drivers cross the twin bridges every day. She said Thursday, one lane of the west bound bridge was closed to do patch work, but ODOT will try and keep two lanes open during rush hour.

"Now, on nights and on weekends, we could see lanes narrow there, as crews do work outside of those peak travel times," Carmon said.

She said this project will mirror the completed construction at 193rd East Avenue, with the bridges at 161st and 145th following in the future.

The bridges on I-44 are just two of more than 500 across the state ODOT hopes to replace by the end of 2020. This project will cost just over $16 million, and is expected to wrap up in the late summer of 2014.

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