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Closing Of 23rd Street Bridge To Create Headaches For Tulsa Drivers

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The 23rd Street Bridge could well go unnoticed by everyone except the people who rely on it. The 23rd Street Bridge could well go unnoticed by everyone except the people who rely on it.
The bridge connects 23rd Street at Southwest Boulevard - with 21st Street going west, towards Chandler Park. The bridge connects 23rd Street at Southwest Boulevard - with 21st Street going west, towards Chandler Park.
"It's going to be a hassle and I'm not sure what they'll do with all this traffic," said driver Dave Roberts. "It's going to be a hassle and I'm not sure what they'll do with all this traffic," said driver Dave Roberts.
TULSA, Oklahoma -

As ODOT starts a bridge project in an industrial area along Southwest Boulevard, a major highway link in west Tulsa will be closed sometime this summer.

Our news partner, The Frontier, first reported the closing of the 23rd Street Bridge over the weekend.

People in the area are just getting word about the plans to close and rebuild the bridge that goes over Highway 75 and the railroad tracks. It's going to be a headache, but ODOT said the job can't wait much longer.

The 23rd Street Bridge could well go unnoticed by everyone except the people who rely on it. It's a busy connector for trucks on the interstate headed to industrial sites in west Tulsa.

2/14/2016 Related Story: Tulsa 23rd Street Bridge To Be Closed 8 Months For Repairs

The constant load has taken a toll, and now the bridge is overdue for major repairs which are planned to start this summer.

Driver Cindy Alexander said, “It's going to be a headache.”

The job will actually last more than a year, but the full closure will be less - about 240 days.

It's a $13.5 million repair.

The bridge connects 23rd Street at Southwest Boulevard - with 21st Street going west, towards Chandler Park.

The closure means 15,000 vehicles a day will have to go another way.

"So I'm going to go over there today and try it. If not, I'll have to drive to Okmulgee and come back, I'm kidding. But it's going to be a hassle and I'm not sure what they'll do with all this traffic," said driver Dave Roberts.

The traffic over it includes virtually every trash truck from the area going to the burn plant. The traffic under it includes 40 trains a day.

The occasional rail yard accident has left damage on some of the piers, but natural decay has taken the biggest toll; the bridge was built in the 1960s.

Underneath, chunks of concrete are missing, but it's still a vital link, and the repair work will be an inconvenience for a lot of people.

Driver Charley Barrett said, “That's what I was just thinking - how do I get there? I guess you go all around to Prattville? I don't know."

There is an exit at 17th Street that winds through the refinery, and there's a back way around through Berryhill.

The closing date for this more convenient route hasn't been set; it's just sometime this summer for now.

You can read more on this story by visiting our partner, The Frontier's website.

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