Tuesday Explosive Blast For I-35 Near Turner Falls Postponed

Tuesday, July 7th 2015, 10:56 am
By: News On 6

State highway officials had planned to detonate explosives on cliffs beside Interstate 35 in the Arbuckle mountains Tuesday evening but have now postponed it due to inclement weather.

The Oklahoma Department of Transportation said the resulting explosion should remove unstable rocks was planned in order to prevent further rockslides along the busy highway near Davis.  

Traffic on both northbound and southbound lanes on the highway will be stopped for about 20 minutes, and drivers were told to be prepared for significant delays if they are on the interstate at that time.

Oklahoma Highway Patrol troopers were to begin slowing down traffic close to the area prior to the charge, ODOT said in a traffic advisory Tuesday afternoon.

6/18/2015 Related Story: Interstate 35 Partially Open After Rockslide Near Davis

Drivers and truck traffic wishing to avoid delays were advised use U.S. Highway 81 to the west through Duncan or U.S. 69 to the east through Durant.

State Transportation Executive Director Mike Patterson said in June several rockslides caused by downpours from Tropical Depression Bill temporarily halted northbound traffic on I-35.  

The Oklahoma Highway Patrol says two semis hit rocks on the road, damaging their tires.

After the rockslides, ODOT opened one lane of I-35  in each direction and reduced speeds to 50 m.p.h.  That resulted in traffic delays stretching for miles.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.