ODOT: Construction On I-244 May Look Complete, But Use Caution

Friday, November 30th 2012, 5:57 pm

Just about every major Tulsa highway has some major construction on it right now.

That includes the reconstruction project on I-244 at Highway 169.

Some drivers have noticed that part of the project looks complete, but there's still a lot of work left and more changes coming, according to ODOT.

The I-244 project stretches a couple of miles from Highway 11, east all the way to the I-44 junction.

The bulk of what's under construction now is east of Highway 169, where paving work is underway in the eastbound lanes.

7/28/2012 Related Story: Construction Projects On I-244 Begin Monday

During all of this construction, traffic is sometimes within feet of people working, and ODOT says drivers who think the work is almost done are going even faster and being less cautious than usual.

"We've got a lot of ramps and lane closures and traffic switches that still need to be done, and traffic needs to be cautious as they move through this area and always be on the lookout," said Mark Zishka, of ODOT.

ODOT says the contractor is mostly done with the westbound lanes and, though parts of the east bound lanes look complete, they're not.

The paving work on the section of highway by the Admiral Twin, going east is done, but the road won't be opened until next spring.

ODOT says that section has to remain closed, because opening it would create a second bottleneck for traffic near Highway 169.

"It won't be until sometime next year, and when the striping crews come in and they put down the final stripe, they can get traffic normalized," Zishka said.

Weather is expected to cut into the construction work in the coming months, but the contractor has a $15,000 a day incentive to finish early, so they fully expect the entire project to wrap up in early spring 2013.

Some other huge projects get started in the spring, including a bridge replacement over the Arkansas River on I-244.