ODOT Starts I-44 Construction Project

Monday, October 14th 2019, 7:19 pm
By: Jonathan Cooper

Starting Monday night at 7 p.m. the Oklahoma Department of Transportation will be closing lanes on the I-44 bridge over the Arkansas River.

It's an improvement project that will take several months and affect a whole lot of people.

"Traffic already gets backed up in that area right now and it's really going to intensify during this project,” said Kenna Mitchell, spokesperson for ODOT.

Mitchell says the project will help extend the life of the bridge and also give drivers a smoother ride.

Crews will replace all 12 expansion joints.

In doing so, lanes both eastbound and westbound will be narrowed to two lanes in each direction, and two ramps will also be closed - the big one, the Peoria/Riverside ramp heading westbound.

“So drivers will need to backtrack to probably Lewis in order to get access to Westbound I-44,” said Mitchell.

The $4 million project also includes resurfacing two miles all the way to the I-244 split.

However, work on that should be confined to weekends, lessening the impact on traffic.

"Drivers in that area know it's bumpy, we've had to do a lot of emergency repairs there so this resurfacing will help give a better drive to that corridor as well,” said Mitchell.

While drivers will still be able to get through during the projects, Mitchell recommends allowing extra time and considering different routes to cross the river.