Major Bridge Work On Highways 169, 266 To Cause Big Delays In Tulsa

Thursday, February 13th 2014, 5:23 pm
By: Craig Day

Work will start Friday on a major road project that will slow down tens of thousands of drivers.

From Osage Sky News 6, we could see where crews will remove one of the structurally deficient bridges.

That part of the project will only take a few days, but it is expected to cause long delays for drivers.

Starting at 7 p.m. on Friday, all lanes of north and southbound U.S. Highway169 will be shut down in both directions, and State Highway 266 above 169 will also be closed. It will mean big-time detours for drivers and a big-time slowdown.

Construction crews are getting everything in place where highway 266 crosses over highway 169.

They'll remove the eastbound highway 266 bridge.

"The current bridges there are considered to be structurally deficient, and this is just part of the improvement project," project manager Jessica Prince said.

It's part of a much larger $9 million interchange improvement where the highways meet.

Getting rid of an aging bridge is welcome news for driver Cheryl David.

"Be safer for everybody," she said. "I know I'm scared when I drive over some of the older ones.

But the bad news is both highways and the interchange will be closed until Monday at 6 a.m.

The speed limit will drop to 25 mph, and drivers will have detours.

"That's going to be crazy," David said.

Considering 60,000 vehicles travel on U.S. 169 each day, and 9,000 on highway 266, it could be crazy.

For drivers on 169, it's fairly simple.

"They're getting off of 169 onto 266, and then they'll get right back off onto 169," Prince said.

But for drivers on 266, it's a much longer detour; they'll be diverted to state highway 167 down to the Interstate to go around, or on the West on 46th Street, they'll have to get on Mingo Road.

"We would actually urge travelers to stay away from this area if at all possible," Prince said. "It's going to be a very long detour route."

David reminds folks to "stay alert, slow down and watch the guys working on the road, and be patient."

Later, construction will begin on a new eastbound bridge. Once that's finished, they'll take down and replace the westbound 266 bridge.

For the latest information on road construction projects all over our in the area, click on our daily detour section here, or you always can access it from our home page.