ODOT Pulling Up Cable Barriers On Tulsa Highway

Friday, May 28th 2010, 5:10 pm
By: News On 6

By Emory Bryan, The News On 6  

TULSA, OK -- The state department of transportation is tearing up a road improvement that was only finished two years ago.

An alert viewer realized it was happening. The News On 6 set out to answer her good question, why are almost new cable barriers on Highway 169 being torn out?

When ODOT installed cable barriers on the section of Highway 169, the thought was that they didn't plan to widen the highway for several years. As it turned out, those plans changed rather quickly.

It was the stimulus plan that moved the $16 million widening project to the top of the list to be done.

ODOT is widening five miles of Highway 169 and replacing the bridge over Pine Avenue. As they widen the road, they'll take up two miles of cable barriers, between 36th and 56th Street North.

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It was just two years ago that ODOT spent $600 thousand dollars to install the cables and now they plan to pull them up. The cables have prevented some crossover accidents - and possibly saved lives. The total investment won't be lost - because the cables can be used again.

"The plan now is to go in and take the cable barriers out of this area, recycle all the materials and put it up on a different project north on Highway 169," said Kenna Mitchell, ODOT Spokesperson.

The widening project, according to ODOT, will be done within a year, adding two lanes to the inside of the existing highway, and installing a new barrier the entire length of the project. The $600,000 cables will have been in place for just over two years.

"It's definitely prevented what could have been further accidents, deadly accidents," Mitchell said.

ODOT says eventually the cable barriers on the section of highway will be replaced with concrete medians as the widening project moves north to 56th Street.

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