The 23rd Street bridge over I-244 in west Tulsa is closed and will remain closed for the 18 months.
The closure is because of a $20-million bridge rehabilitation project. The bridge spans both the Interstate highway and a BNSF rail yard. It's been hit four times in the past two years by train derailments.
The project includes replacing three spans of the bridge, reconfiguring and adding crash pads to several of the bridge’s piers and replacing the ramp bridge that runs from Interstate 244 to 21st Street.
The Oklahoma Department of Transportation is recommending drivers use 21st Street South, 57th West Avenue, I-44 and Highway 75 as alternate routes.
Felipe Sanchez, who works at a nearby industrial plant says the road work will slow down freight trucks and add 20 minutes to his commute home.
"By the time we get off work, there will be cars lined up all the way to the end of the plant so it's gonna add a lot of time on our leaving here and getting here in the mornings," said Felipe Sanchez.
The westbound I-244 off-ramp to 23rd Street will stay open during the first phase of the project.