New Work Zone Tying Up Traffic On BA Expressway Near Downtown

Monday, April 18th 2016, 6:56 pm
By: Emory Bryan

There’s a new traffic tie up on the Broken Arrow Expressway just outside downtown Tulsa.

Repair work shifted from the westbound to eastbound lanes over the weekend, and the construction zone created a new, and possibly dangerous, backup.

Now, drivers headed east see orange barrels. It's a sudden merge, backing up traffic on two sides of downtown.

Monday, an accident backed up traffic in the new work zone when a car hit another one from behind. The injuries were slight, but the delays were long, and that continued well after the crash was cleaned up.

“You gotta do what you gotta do, but it seems like they could open up a lane on the shoulder. I try to find a different way now that I know it's there - I take 244 around that way,” one driver said.

The traffic chokes at the merge between two streams of traffic from the south and east legs of the IDL.

Downtown commuters headed home on the east leg make the merge. Drivers on the south leg can go through but they have another work zone further back.

The Oklahoma Department of Transportation said it’s put out signs to slow people down and urges drivers to be extra cautious as they go into a new, unfamiliar work zone.

“For drivers, we would encourage them to set aside their distractions as they go into the work zone, any work zone, traffic may be slowed down, or stopped, or, as we saw this morning, it may be a different configuration of the work zone drivers are adjusting to,” said ODOT spokesperson, Kenna Carmon.

Though the rain added to the complications, ODOT expects the construction job to create significant backups.

The state estimates the work will take three months.

Carmon said, "We have to get in there to make those repairs to the concrete to make this a better drive.

Monday, with the rain, the contractor was getting in place to start repairs when the weather improves. They should wrap up mid-July.