ODOT Awaits Approval To Begin New I-244 Bridge Project

Sunday, March 3rd 2013, 6:52 pm
By: News On 6

There is a possibility of more construction on the Interstate 244 bridge over the Arkansas River in Tulsa.

The Oklahoma Department of Transportation is waiting for the green light from state officials to start working on the eastbound bridge.

The westbound portion of the bridge was under construction for about a year and a half, and it reopened in December. Now ODOT is hoping to rebuild the eastbound bridge.

The agency will meet with the Oklahoma Transportation Commission on Monday, and the commission has to approve the $38 million project.

If approved, Field Engineer Randle White said construction will look similar to the westbound side.

He said all traffic will be moved onto the newly constructed westbound bridge while crews work on the eastbound side.

White said anyone who drives the route probably knows why it's necessary to re-build this stretch of highway.

He explained the 46-year-old bridge is obsolete and requires a lot of maintenance.

"We have been in continuous repair mode," White said. "We spend about a million dollars a year trying to upkeep and maintain that over the past seven, eight years…. We think that good roads, good bridges translates into a good community. You'll see development and a lot of good, positive things coming from the new work."

White said it's too early to tell how long the bridge will be under construction.

Tonight at 9 and 10, News On 6 reporter Ashlei King will have more on how this can impact the daily commute to and from downtown.