Construction Begins On Memorial Drive In Tulsa

Sunday, March 8th 2009, 8:59 pm
By: News On 6

By Chris Wright, The News On 6

TULSA, OK -- Construction began Sunday night on a heavily traveled stretch of Memorial Drive in south Tulsa.

The work near State Highway 64 and the Creek Turnpike will be halted each day during rush hour, but officials expect big-time delays.

More than 40,000 cars use the stretch of Memorial Drive every day, according to the Oklahoma Department of Transportation.

It's often congested, and in an effort to alleviate traffic, ODOT is working to expand part of it.

The road will go from four to six lanes from the Creek Turnpike junction to 111th Street South.

While the work is being done, one lane will be closed on each side.

"I think by going in, putting in these additional two lanes, that's really going to help knock out some wear and tear on the roadway, help drivers get through the area better," ODOT's Kenna Mitchell said.

Mitchell says the Memorial Drive expansion is something ODOT has had its eyes on for a while.

"It's something that we've certainly been studying the traffic patterns down there, looking to see if we do need to expand the roadway, and fortunately, it is something we do have the funding for at this point, and we're able to go in and start the project," she said.

Mitchell expects the project to take about six months but promises most of the work will be done overnight. All lanes will remain open from 6 to 9 a.m., as well as 3 to 7 p.m.

"It will definitely be a much-improved drive in that area (when completed)," Mitchell said. "(Drivers will) see a better time to get through that area in terms of traffic flow."

In addition to the road expansion, ODOT will install sidewalks on both sides of the road.