Redesign Will Keep Several Tulsa IDL Ramps Closed

Friday, April 29th 2011, 2:46 pm
By: News On 6

TULSA, Oklahoma --  The Oklahoma State Department of Transportation says the eastbound I-244 off-ramps to north and southbound U.S. Highway 75 on the northeast corner of the Inner Dispersal Loop will stay closed for approximately six weeks.

The reason: a clearance issue.  

"When we were out doing some final checks out there we noticed there was one section of the ramp." Randle White, ODOT engineer, said. "There's a clearance problem there."

Prior to the recent IDL pavement reconstruction, the southbound 75 ramp was posted for a low clearance of 15 feet 1 inch. During the final inspection, the Oklahoma Department of Transportation discovered a reduced clearance of about six inches where the ramp passes under westbound I-244, causing the ramp to be unsafe for traffic.

"In this particular case if the over-high vehicle went down through there and hit the beam that went over, then it would have a very critical issue," White said.

ODOT engineers have determined construction plans were followed correctly.   

To eliminate the clearance issue and restore traffic, work is underway to build a new support structure for a beam on the I-244 bridge directly over the ramp which will allow additional height clearance for the ramp.

The northbound U.S. Highway 75 ramp will also remain closed during this work for the safety of crews and drivers.

Eastbound I-244 traffic can continue to follow the south leg of the Inner Dispersal Loop for access to U.S. Highway 75.

The six-week fix not only prolongs the $75 million project, but adds $300,000 to the price tag.

2/24/2011 Related Story: Tulsa's IDL Construction Project Completed, Reopened