Work To Begin Soon On Inner Dispersal Loop

Wednesday, May 6th 2009, 9:22 pm
By: News On 6

By Emory Bryan, The News On 6

TULSA, OK -- A major road renovation starts soon on the Inner Dispersal Loop.

It starts with some patch work on the south and east sides, but that's just the beginning.

Patch work will take a month, but then, three miles of the IDL will be closed for 16 months while it's totally rebuilt.

The easy access provided by Tulsa's Inner Dispersal Loop is also what will make closing part of it down such a hassle.

But ODOT says it's the only way to rebuild the IDL.

"We were piecemealing a lot of this work," ODOT construction engineer Paul Green said. "Now we're able to do it all at one time."

ODOT plans to rebuild the entire north and west legs of the IDL.

The work will start in the westbound lanes on the north side and southbound on the west side. That's 23 lane miles of pavement, and 41 bridges in all.

The work will impact only one direction of travel at a time.

"We're going to have detour routes in place, and you will be able to get off in the opposite direction, you just may have to go around the IDL to get there," Green said.

For Justin Burkett, it's an inconvenience he can live with.

"For the time being, we're willing to make the adjustment and happy to do so in order to get our roads fixed," said Burkett, who manages the downtown terminal of Central Freight Lines.

He says Tulsa's roads are tough on trucks.

"Beats tires to death, beats them to death and these big truck tires are expensive, $500 and $600 apiece," Burkett said. "You get 18 of them on a truck, you've got a lot of dough tied up in tires."

The job is the single most expensive contract ever approved by ODOT -- $66 million with up to $6 million in bonuses for getting it done ahead of schedule.

ODOT officials plan to replace every sign and street light and add concrete barrier walls. They are asking for patience as they close down big sections of the road for 200 days each way.