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Construction Giving Drivers Headaches

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Traffic is down to one lane between 51st Street South and 21st Street South. Traffic is down to one lane between 51st Street South and 21st Street South.
ODOT officials say once they are done with construction, the new surface will equal safer driving conditions. ODOT officials say once they are done with construction, the new surface will equal safer driving conditions.
The construction project started in January and it may not be completed until this summer. The construction project started in January and it may not be completed until this summer.

Ongoing construction on Highway 169 is causing headaches for local drivers.  The News On 6's Chris Wright reports portions of the road have been down to one lane for more than a month now, and it will be a while before things get back to normal.

Anyone who ventured to south Tulsa on Sunday to run an errand or attend church ran the risk of running into bumper to bumper traffic from 51st Street South to 21st Street South.

"It's been some hassle if I do have to go that way.  But, like I said, I just try to find ways to avoid it if I can," said Tulsan Brian Pense.

"We just took our kids up to a birthday party on 31st and Memorial, and it's just nuts.  Everything is backed up, and you don't have enough warning signs down on the south side to let you know the traffic is getting down to one lane," said Tulsan Kelly Williams.

The surface rehabilitation project started on January 7th.  Highway 169 will remain one lane, except during the morning and evening rush hours, until the project is completed.  And, that may not happen until early summer.

ODOT says drivers will have to exercise some caution with this over the next few months, because unfortunately the northbound side of Highway 169 is going to be a mess for a while.

"The winter storms last year and this year really impacted that roadway, and deteriorated it quickly, so we're trying to get it back in good condition," said ODOT's Paul Green.

Paul Green with ODOT says the repairs will make for a smoother and safer ride, and the project will be completed as quickly as possible.

"We have 91,000 cars a day on that section of roadway, so we know it's very important to get open quickly," added ODOT's Paul Green.

But, like the surface of Highway 169, the patience of some drivers is already wearing thin.

"Well, you think they could maybe do one lane at a time, or at least shorten the length of construction.  They've got miles blocked off, and it just doesn't seem like there's any cause for it," said Tulsan Kelly Williams.

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