Tulsa drivers say their week has gotten off to a rocky start after they drove over large potholes on I-44.
Now an extensive construction project is underway to get the road fixed.
“As soon as I felt it I was like what in the world and I could feel the tire go ‘dun, dun dun,” says Amber Jett.
Jett says she was one of many drivers stranded after hitting large potholes this morning on I-44 and getting a flat tire.
"Hit a pothole, sat there for five minutes, and luckily TPD pulled up behind me and he actually changed my tire for me too," says Jett.
While Jett only had to replace one tire, other drivers say their damage cost hundreds of dollars.
“It wasn’t your normal-sized pothole, it was probably bigger than that, it was pretty deep,” Jett described. She says she’s thankful that she wasn’t hit while sitting in her car. “I don’t know who left it like that but they should have had some cones up,” says Jett.
News on 6 spoke to Kenna Mitchell with ODOT, who explained crews have been working to replace the bridge on 1-44 near 33rd West Avenue, where the potholes were located. She says that the project caused traffic to divert onto the shoulders speeding up deterioration.
“In fact, the entire stretch of the corridor between the Arkansas River is the oldest remain stretch of interstate that we have left to maintain,” Mitchell explained. “The combination of traffic, age and weather made this a perfect storm for drivers."
Mitchell says ODOT crews are now having to replace the asphalt on the shoulders leading up to the bridge. They will be working on both east and westbound lanes and say drivers should expect heavier traffic than normal.
Mitchell says this project won’t be finished by Monday and could take even take longer depending on the weather.