Tulsa Construction Projects Complicate Holiday Weekend Travel

Sunday, September 5th 2010, 3:56 pm
By: News On 6

By Lacie Lowry, The News On 6

TULSA, OKLAHOMA -- Sunday was the eye of the storm for travel this holiday weekend. Most of the travelers already headed out for Labor Day weekend and will return Monday.

Travel is a little trickier this year with construction projects on the road and at the airport.

The projects are ongoing for the next several months, but Labor Day may ramp things up.

"We've actually had several calls here from people asking the best way to get around Tulsa or get around to other points across the state," said Kenna Mitchell, ODOT Public Information Manager.

Of course on the IDL, all lanes of the north leg and west leg are closed in the westbound direction of 244. On top of that, northbound 75 is temporarily closed at the I-44 junction for a bridge deck replacement.

"The way that it timed out, this weekend was the weekend that they were able to go in and do the closure of the northbound to finish up that deck," said Mitchell.

The Oklahoma Department of Transportation is diverting that traffic to eastbound I-44, and you'll see lower speed limits in all work zones, so plan for delays. 

At the airport, make your estimated time of arrival a little earlier because of the entrance road construction.

"Taking the entrance road piece by piece and replacing the concrete. We are also adding some pedestrian crosswalks that are elevated," said Alexis Higgins, TIA spokeswoman.

This project should last four months. For right now, only the left lane of the main entrance is open.

"At times, it can become a little congested, but people seem to be taking it well, they are taking it slowly and so far there haven't been any significant delays," said Higgins.

ODOT plans to open northbound 75 at I-44 at 5 a.m. Monday, but they still expect a lot of traffic on the roads even after that simply because of more drivers on the road this holiday weekend. 

AAA says the economy forced many families to stay home last year and not travel on Labor Day weekend. This year, travel has picked back up and Oklahoma specifically is seeing a nine percent increase.

For the latest construction information in and around the Tulsa area, check out the Daily Detour.