Construction Work Prompts Ramp Closures On Tulsa's IDL Overnight

Wednesday, August 26th 2009, 8:43 pm
By: News On 6

By Chris Wright, The News On 6

TULSA, OK -- Work continues around the clock along Tulsa's Inner Dispersal Loop around downtown.  Several off-ramps were shut down on Wednesday evening so work can be done on them.  The ramps to U.S. Highway 75 from I-244 East will be closed overnight, but ODOT says the work should not affect commuters.

Over a month into the project, all the IDL detours can still be confusing.  They may be become more puzzling if you find yourself eastbound on I-244, and trying to get onto Highway 75 Wednesday or Thursday night.

The ramps for both the north and southbound lanes for the highway will be shut-down.

"We're encouraging drivers to find alternate routes. One route we're suggesting is to continue east to Delaware. go underneath 244, and turn left and get right back on going westbound," said ODOT Project Manager Jennifer Tyler.

ODOT says the closures shouldn't inconvenience commuters.  The ramps will be re-opened by 6 a.m. on Thursday and Friday.  It's all part of a massive IDL makeover that has already become a way of life for Tulsa drivers.

As for the project itself, it's a little over a month into it and, so far, ODOT says it's going well, according to plan. They've already torn out the material on five of the bridges.

"At first, we thought traffic was going to be an issue. Right now, traffic really isn't that bad, it's flowing through the detours very well. We're moving right along on our schedule," said ODOT Project Manager Jennifer Tyler.

8/4/2009 Related story: Workers 2 Weeks Into IDL Reconstruction Project

The three-phase, $75 million project will rehabilitate six miles of the IDL, including 44 bridges.  The north and west legs are being worked on right now.

When that is finished, work will start on the south and east lanes.  The project is expected to be completed in early 2011.     

The project remains the single largest ever bid out by ODOT.