Portion Of Broken Arrow Expressway Narrowed To One Lane

Tuesday, June 19th 2012, 4:57 pm
By: News On 6

The Oklahoma Department of Transportation is narrowing another portion of the Broken Arrow Expressway to one lane Wednesday.

The Broken Arrow Expressway is one of the most-traveled roads in Tulsa, with 90,000 vehicles traveling it every day.

Since late April, ODOT has narrowed the westbound side to one lane while crews repair two bridge decks that cross over Pittsburg Avenue.

Wednesday morning ODOT will be doing the same to the eastbound side, narrowing it to one lane between Harvard Avenue and Sheridan Road to repair a bridge deck that goes over a railroad track.

4/17/2012 Related Story: Major Construction Project Set To Begin On Broken Arrow Expressway

"More construction, but again, this is a project that we have to go in and do," said Kenna Mitchel, of ODOT. "We know it's an inconvenience. We've put several incentives in on the project to get the contractor to work quickly, so we can get traffic restored to normal."

ODOT said the westbound lanes should be back open to two lanes in about two months, but the eastbound lane will be down to one lane for as long as four months, beginning Wednesday.

Transportation officials admitted the lane closures will cause headaches for drivers but, they said the bridges are in dire need of repair.

"Over the past several years we've have several emergency closures on the Pittsburg bridges, just due to holes through the bridge decks, and we just got to the point where crews were putting patches on top of patches. And we got to where we needed to replace the whole bridge before other problems develop," Mitchel said.

ODOT hopes incentives will help the project finish early. The contractors will get $4,200 a day for each day they finish under 200 days, or pay $4,200 a day if it takes longer than 200 days.

Mitchel said, "We give those incentives to the contractor to make sure that they're expediting the work and making good use of their time and they can get the roadway back open."

In addition, ODOT is closing the on-ramps to westbound B.A. at Yale Avenue and 29th Street until further notice. They asked drivers to be patient and keep an eye out for crews in the work zones.