Tulsa's Lewis Avenue At I-44 Closed For Interstate Widening Project

Sunday, September 30th 2012, 7:50 pm
By: Tess Maune

All lanes of traffic on Lewis Avenue over Interstate 44 are now closed and remained closed for the next 20 months.

The project is the fourth and final phase of the I-44 widening project between Riverside Drive and Yale Avenue in Tulsa.

"The highway itself is going to be shifting south, so once we close Lewis, contractors will begin building the new lanes of I-44 and the new bridge," Oklahoma Department of Transportation's Kenna Mitchell said.

Mitchell said traffic on I-44 won't be impacted, just traffic above on Lewis.

"This is more than just another project, this is taking part of the center here at Fike's Shopping Center and it's a major widening of I-44," Frank Stapper, of Dr. Frank's Gym said.

Stapper's gym sits just yards away from the heart of the construction.

Until work begins, he said he's not sure what to expect, but he's trying to keep an open mind.

"Most of my members live in the neigborhood anyway and so to get out to go anywhere, they're going to have to fight the construction and all that

Stapper's business is safe -- at least for now.

Mitchell said service roads, ramps and 51st Street will remain open.

However, as the project progresses, Mitchell said that will change.

"Drivers will need to make sure that they not only have their alternate route in mind, but make sure they follow our daily traffic advisories to know when those closures will happen," Mitchell said.

The newly improved Harvard or Peoria Avenues might be good alternates, because there's still a lot of work ahead.

Construction is slated to take 20 months, though Mitchell said there are some incentives in place to speed up the process.

Work began on the $400 million widening project began back in 2009.

For all ODOT traffic alerts, you can always check NewsOn6's Daily Detour.