Rebuilding Highway 169 At Bird Creek: ODOT Explains How - NewsOn6.com - Tulsa, OK - News, Weather, Video and Sports - KOTV.com |

News

Rebuilding Highway 169 At Bird Creek: ODOT Explains How

Posted: Updated:
Image from Osage SkyNews 6 HD looking north, showing the new northbound lanes and bridges being built at 56th Street North and Bird Creek. Image from Osage SkyNews 6 HD looking north, showing the new northbound lanes and bridges being built at 56th Street North and Bird Creek.
Another photo from Osage SkyNews 6 HD looking south, showing the work being done on the east side of the northbound Bird Creek bridge. Another photo from Osage SkyNews 6 HD looking south, showing the work being done on the east side of the northbound Bird Creek bridge.
Photo from Osage SkyNews 6 HD looking south at the work at 66th Street North. The contractor is building the new section of the bridges and lanes in the median first. Photo from Osage SkyNews 6 HD looking south at the work at 66th Street North. The contractor is building the new section of the bridges and lanes in the median first.
OWASSO, Oklahoma -

Thousands of people who drive Highway 169 through the construction zone at Bird Creek have the same question: how do you replace four sets of highway bridges while keeping two lanes of traffic open in both directions on weekdays?

The Oklahoma Transportation Commission in April approved a $45,500,000 contract to replace the eight bridges from 56th Street North to 66th Street North on Highway 169 just south of Owasso. The bridges to be replaced include two each at 56th Street North, Bird Creek, the Bird Creek overflow and 66th Street North. The contract also calls for widening the highway to three lanes in each direction.

The contract gives Becco 580 days to finish the job. Two lanes of traffic in both directions will remain open during weekdays, when traffic is the thickest. The easiest way to replace bridges is to close them, but that's not possible on a highway that is a major commuter route to Tulsa as well as a vital corridor for commercial traffic.

For that reason, the company has to get creative. It will build parts of the bridges in stages, demolishing sections of the old ones as it goes.

"The contractor has started work on the south end of the project and is building a new section of the highway and bridges at 56th Street and at Bird Creek just outside the existing northbound bridges," said Kenna Carmon, ODOT District 8 spokeswoman.

Images from Osage SkyNews 6 HD show the contractor is building piers on the east side of the northbound bridges at 56th Street North and Bird Creek. Once the piers are ready, huge steel beams from Van Buren, Arkansas will be installed and then the new road deck will be built. 

Carmon said once those new sections are complete, ODOT will move northbound traffic to the new section and southbound traffic will be moved to what are now the northbound lanes.

Moving northbound traffic onto the new sections will allow the contractor to remove the old bridges on the current southbound lanes. Once the new bridges and highway section are complete on the west side of the highway, ODOT will switch southbound traffic to that new section, making it possible for the contractor to then remove the old northbound lanes and replace them.

It breaks down like this:

-Two new northbound lanes built (construction underway)
-Northbound traffic switched to two new lanes (early 2016)
-Southbound traffic moved to old northbound lanes
-Old southbound lanes replaced
-Southbound traffic switched to new lanes
-Old northbound lanes replaced
-Completion, February 2017

As far as the Bird Creek overflow bridges and the bridges over 66th Street North, images from Osage SkyNews 6 HD show the contractor has started in the median

The two classic truss bridges over Bird Creek were built in 1960 according to NewsOn6.com's Bridge Tracker and are rated as structurally deficient. ODOT says the contractor plans to dismantle them and recycle the steel. 

The Bird Creek overflow bridges were built in 1960 and the southbound bridge is listed as structurally deficient.

Check the News On 6 Live Traffic page.

The 56th Street North bridges, built in 1961, are both functionally obsolete. ODOT widened Highway 169 to six lanes from Pine Street to just south of 56th Street North a few years ago and the old two-lane northbound bridge creates a bottleneck during afternoon rush hour. 

Special Features

Live Traffic

Get the latest road conditions on Green Country roadways.

iPhone App

Get breaking news, weather, sports & video directly on your iPhone.

CBS Shows

Watch your favorite CBS shows for free online.

Links

Looking for a website or event you heard mentioned on News On 6? Find it here!

TV Schedule

Need to know what's on TV? Check out our television schedule.

Live Radar

WARN Interactive

Special Coverage

  • Bridge Tracker

    How safe are Oklahoma's bridges? Use Bridge Tracker to find out now.

  • Fallen Heroes

    News On 6 honors our fallen Oklahoma heroes. View our interactive timeline.

  • Murrah Bombing Timeline

    Learn more about the events leading up to and following the bombing.

  • Storm Zone

    Watch tornadoes tear across Oklahoma and learn how to stay safe!

Powered by Frankly
News On 6
303 N. Boston Ave.
Tulsa, OK 74103
Newson6.com is proud to provide Oklahomans with timely and relevant news and information, sharing the stories, pictures and loves of Oklahomans across our great state.
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2018 KOTV. Oklahoma Traveler™ is a registered trademark of Griffin Communications. All Rights Reserved.
For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy, and Terms of Service, and Ad Choices.