ODOT Gets Green Light For $87 Million Project To Improve I-44 In West Tulsa

Tuesday, September 8th 2020, 9:46 pm
By: Kristen Weaver

TULSA, Okla. -

ODOT has the green light tonight to move forward with Tulsa's largest single construction contract for a highway aimed at making a busy interchange safer. 

ODOT said this nearly $90 million project will expand I-44 to six lanes and pay for five new bridges.

ODOT said I-44 and US-75 are some of Tulsa's busiest highways. On average US -75 sees 70,000 drivers a day, and I-44 sees about 87,000.

"We were awarded a federal grant that gave us the funding to start this process," said ODOT Assistant Division Engineer Seth Buchanan.

On Tuesday, ODOT approved an $87 million dollar project to expand a stretch of highway. A federal highway grant paid for about half of that.

Buchanan said this is the first of many phases that will transform I-44.

"This phase builds new bridges on US 75 over 44, US 75 over Mooser creek and Union avenue over I-44," said Buchanan.

Buchanan the project also expands I-44 to six lanes from Union Avenue to the Arkansas River. ODOT said it's one of the only remaining four-lane highways in the Tulsa metro, and people who live nearby said the interchange is one of the most dangerous.

"It's a nightmare, there's congestion and so many accidents every day," said Frederick Dunlap.

Frederick Dunlap has lived near the highway for nine years and said an expansion is overdue.

"It's been crazy busy, so it's ready to be expanded and we're ready for it to change," he said.

Buchanan said drivers should expect major traffic delays when the highway is narrowed to one lane, but said it'll be worth the wait.

"When we're done, we'll guarantee you'll like the product you'll see," Buchanan said.

Construction is set to start at the beginning of next year and should take around two years to be completed.