Workers 2 Weeks Into IDL Reconstruction Project

Tuesday, August 4th 2009, 5:53 pm
By: News On 6

By Emory Bryan, The News On 6

TULSA, OK -- The huge reconstruction project on the Inner Dispersal Loop is right on track with no weather delays. Sometimes that progress is hard to see, but it's becoming more visible.

Drivers on the IDL can't really see what's happening in the other lanes. The News On 6 took up SkyNews6 for a look and you might be surprised to see how much has been demolished in just two weeks.

Two weeks into the demolition of the IDL, the state's contractor is excavating back to the 1970's. The asphalt being peeled off the highway, covered original concrete poured nearly 40 years ago.

"So far we've milled the pavement, the asphalt off the original concrete and started surveying and gathering all the data so we can build it back the way it was and also started to tear down the bridges individually so we can rebuild them and not block ourselves in," said Jennifer Tyler, ODOT project manager.

From a SkyNews6 view, the bridge work is the most noticeable sign of progress.

The railroad bridge on the southwest corner is almost demolished. It's going to be the first bridge rebuilt for the project.

Work continues on the Brady Avenue bridge in the middle of the west leg.

On the top, workers cut the concrete apart and use jackhammers to break it up.  The bridgework is the most complicated, expensive and time consuming part of what's ahead.

"As we tear the decks off, we'll get all the concrete and steel off of the beams and then start tying steel back to pour the bridge decks back," said Jennifer Tyler.

Most of the IDL work zone now is a moonscape with the road bed down to dirt in several places.

As for drivers, ODOT has made several changes to the road signs based on driver complaints and believes traffic is flowing as well as could be expected.

"So far, it's going exactly to plan. We haven't had any surprises and we're excited about progressing," said Jennifer Tyler.

And remember, the construction only affects the counter-clockwise direction. If you're traveling clockwise, there's nothing in your path.