Domino Delays Affecting Tulsa Road Projects

Saturday, August 29th 2015, 10:51 pm
By: News On 6

Some unforeseen issues are causing delays in a $5.2 million resurfacing project affecting some of Tulsa's busiest highways. Interstate 44 at the State Highway 66 junction near Catoosa is shut down to one lane this weekend for that project.

The section of pavement on I-44 where crews are working is older than others and has been greatly affected by winter freezes, spring rain and everyday wear and tear - delaying the project - and in turn, others.

"The pavement's in such bad condition, it's just deteriorated much more than we had the quantity set up to use and to do that work," said Mark Zishka, Oklahoma Department of Transportation engineer.

Construction crews are currently patching sections of concrete on I-44 at the Highway 66 junction. The bad concrete goes out, and the new, stronger concrete goes in - but it's a tedious process.

"We have to do the work on weekends to patch that pavement because there's a curing time for that concrete and put traffic back on it," he said.

Crews can only work one section at a time and have to make sure all of the bad concrete is replaced - and and the new concrete set - before laying a thin layer of asphalt on top.

And it's delaying another project: a resurfacing project planned for a section of the Broken Arrow Expressway. Plans show the project starting in the southeast section of the IDL and stretching all the way to Lewis.
It was scheduled to be completed by October, but it hasn't even begun yet, because of the project on I-44.

"Right now we're just trying to get the work done and get it patched up and buttoned up before winter comes," Zishka said.

ODOT says as soon as the patching is done and the overlay is started on I-44, the project on the BA will begin. Meaning construction on both projects is far from over.

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