Tulsa's Peoria Avenue At I-44 Closed For Construction

Sunday, October 11th 2009, 9:58 pm
By: News On 6

By Tara Vreeland, The News On 6

TULSA, OK -- A Tulsa street which intersects with I-44 has been closed to traffic. The Oklahoma Department of Transportation reports all lanes of north and southbound Peoria Avenue will remain closed at the I-44 junction for about three months.

"It's going to be a lot of extra time and hassle, because I'll have to go find a different route," said Chris Sorrels, a Tulsa driver.

ODOT has set up detours around the construction.

"If I miss Lewis, I better hit Riverside, because if I don't hit Riverside, I gotta go way across the bridge," said Montez Reed, a Tulsa resident.

The reason for the closure is because crews are working on a drainage structure on the north side of I-44.

9/29/2009  Related Story: Massive Drainage Ditch Under Construction On I-44 In Tulsa

"And now it's time to go in and connect the pieces, and that's going to have to happen right underneath Peoria. So we have to keep traffic off while we do that," said ODOT Spokesperson Kenna Mitchell.

ODOT reports the structure is a key piece of the I-44 Riverside Drive to Yale Avenue widening project. It's more than 20 feet underground and more than 40 feet wide.

"And in fact, there are some points where you can fit three semis side by side and drive down it, so it's a massive structure, and we have to connect the pieces that are on either side of Peoria right now, and we have to do that underneath Peoria," said Kenna Mitchell.

"You just have to find a different way, you know. For growth, for things to get better, sometimes you have to sacrifice," said Chris Sorrels, a Tulsa driver.

It's an inconvenience now, but an improvement down the road.

"It's just going to be a big hassle, but in the long run, once they get 44 widened, it'll be better for everybody," said Chris Sorrels, a Tulsa driver.

Daily lane and ramp closures are noted in the traffic advisories section of the Oklahoma Department of Transportation web site.

10/9/2009  Related Story: Peoria Avenue At I-44 To Close Monday In Tulsa Construction