Two New Construction Projects To Slow Traffic On Tulsa's West Side

Monday, January 7th 2013, 5:48 pm

Two new, major road projects are starting on west side highways. Either one of these projects would create some congestion, but put together, they could really impact some commuters in west Tulsa.

The orange barrels are out on 71st Street on the Arkansas River bridge and to the west toward Tulsa Hills shopping center.

It's the beginning of a road rebuilding project that will last until October and keep traffic narrowed down to two lanes instead of four.

The job will create congestion around the shopping center, where traffic exits Highway 75 going into Tulsa.

The City of Tulsa says the job was delayed until after the rush of Christmas shopping.

"We actually bid the project last summer and could have started it in October or November, but we delayed the project until now," said City of Tulsa Construction Manager Brad Crutcher.

The barrels on the bridge are for traffic control, to shift the lanes from one side to the other during the construction.

The work involves taking up the asphalt down to the dirt and replacing it with concrete.

It's a $2.6 million job, which is about average for rebuilding one mile of a four-lane road in Tulsa.

"We're going to reconstruct 71st all the way from Tulsa Hills to the Arkansas River bridge," Crutcher said.

A second west side project is starting, too, rebuilding the bridge deck on I-244 where it crosses over 33rd West Ave.

It's a quicker project - just six months - but it's going to create a second bottleneck for people in the same area.

The Oklahoma Department of Transportation is spending $1.5 million for the job that starts Tuesday and is scheduled to last through June.

The first phase of both projects is the signs and barrels.

That's underway on 71st Street and starts Tuesday on I-244.