Crews To Begin I-244 Rebuilding Project
Sunday, March 1st 2015, 8:48 pm CST
The Oklahoma Department of Transportation says drivers should be prepared for delays, but don't expect any major lane closures on I-244 right away. It will take a while for the contractor to get mobilized.
Drivers are ready for I-244 to get a major upgrade.
“244 needed the work a long time ago," Teresa Nichols said.
Verna Morales added, "I keep hitting the potholes and they're destroying my car."
Morales takes I-244 every day. She's worried about the construction delays, but she knows the new concrete on the highway will be better for her commute.
"[It's] terrible,” she said. “I hit every hole. I can feel every bump... you know it's pretty terrible."
Contractors will start tearing up the road from Delaware to 73rd East Avenue in both directions. ODOT said construction is going to be a 15-month, $38 million rebuilding project. ODOT's Kenna Carmon said drivers need to plan ahead for delays because, at times, traffic will be restricted to one lane in each direction.
“So all together there's going to be about 5 miles of pavement reconstruction underway here in Tulsa,” Carmon said. “That's going to greatly impact commuters going in and out of downtown Tulsa for people trying to get to the airport or to local businesses or schools in the area."
Contractors finished rebuilding this section between the I-244/44 split to just west of Memorial more than a year ago. The project also will replace two crumbling bridge decks over Admiral and 73rd East Avenue.
ODOT said it recently awarded a bid to rebuild the rest of I-244 from Delaware to the Inner Dispersal Loop in downtown Tulsa. That project will begin soon, and drivers can't wait for the smooth ride.
“Oh, I'm happy,” Teresa Nichols said. “I'm excited about it because you can't really dodge on the highway, it's kind of rough."
ODOT said the contractor will start moving in equipment and putting up signs on I-244 from the Admiral Twin to Delaware.