Speeding, Daily Wrecks Trouble I-244 Construction Zone In Tulsa

Tuesday, May 12th 2015, 5:32 pm
By: News On 6

Daily accidents and speeding drivers are keeping Oklahoma Highway Patrol troopers busy in the Interstate 244 construction zone.

Troopers say a rollover crash Tuesday morning sent one woman to the hospital. The five-mile-long project has traffic down to two narrow lanes and speed limits at 50-miles-an-hour.

OHP has two troopers dedicated to keeping an eye on the construction project. You wouldn't believe what troopers clocked some drivers going as they passed right next to construction workers.

Tuesday morning's rollover crash on I-244 bottlenecked traffic for almost an hour. Thomas Head was on his way to visit his mother in the hospital when he was hit by an SUV.

"Suddenly the car just swerves, swerved right - I don't know why she did," said Thomas Head, crash victim.

5/12/2015 Related Story: Rollover Tulsa Wreck Causes Injuries On Westbound I-244 Near Utica

The crash happened near Utica where lanes are shifted, on-ramps are short and the speed limit drops to 40 miles-per-hour.

"You need to drive very very slow, that's what I was doing. I was only going about 35 miles per hour," he said.

Troopers say A woman driving an SUV changed lanes to pass a slower driver in front of her. Troopers say she hit Head's car, overcorrected and rolled.

Almost daily accidents in this construction zone worry troopers.

The Oklahoma Highway Patrol has two troopers watching I-244 all the time.

"There's 64, 65," said Trooper Dwight Durant, clocking drivers as they pass.

It only took us a minute to find drivers going way over the posted 50 mph speed limit.

"Here's another 60. There was one that was just going 90 - going the other way," Durant said.

Speeding through construction zones isn't just dangerous for drivers but for all the workers trying to finish the project.

"If you come into this construction zone and you're speeding, you're driving recklessly, you're the one we're looking for," the trooper said.

Troopers have zero tolerance for drivers who speed in the work zone.

"Just ask people to slow down, back off, pay attention when you're coming into these construction zones," said Trooper Dwight Durant, OHP.

ODOT and the contractor are constantly opening and closing lanes and ramps on I-244. Troopers say even when you drive the posted speed limit, it only takes a few minutes to get through the project.