US-169 And Memorial Diverging Diamond Interchange Expected To Shift Traffic Flow

ODOT says the interchange is almost on the final step of construction and will greatly ease traffic in one of the busiest intersections in town.

Tuesday, April 16th 2024, 5:21 pm



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Construction is getting closer to being finished on the new Diverging Diamond Interchange at Memorial and Highway 169.

Crews have worked on the intersection for more than a year and say it should cut down on accidents in the area.

ODOT says the interchange is almost on the final step of construction and will greatly ease traffic in one of the busiest intersections in town.

If you travel along Memorial Drive at US-169 and the Creek Turnpike, you’ve probably noticed some construction causing slowdowns.

“We know right now, with the construction, we are causing some congestion, but we’re hopefully going to help alleviate that as we move forward and get this project finalized,” said TJ Gerlach with the Oklahoma Department of Transportation.

But he says that congestion in south Tulsa used to be just as bad before all the work began.

So, over the past year, in an effort to ease traffic and cut down on collisions, ODOT has been transforming the intersection into what's called a Diverging Diamond Interchange.

It will briefly take traffic in opposite lanes to allow the free flow of traffic on and off highways.

ODOT is in the process of building islands, and Gerlach says that by the end of next week, the traffic on the right will diverge left under the bridge and vice versa.

In the meantime, businesses are feeling the impact.

“It's never-ending traffic—a lot of horns honking," said Tad McDaniel, the manager at Mill Creek Carpet and Tile on Memorial.

He commutes through the intersection daily.

“It's sometimes three blocks long, and traffic sits for a long time when they are doing different road changes,” he said. 

And he says his customers feel it too.

“We get customers that come in very frustrated with the time frame it takes to get to our store,” he said. 

Frustration that will be over soon.

“It’ll be nice when it's all finished up,” said McDaniel.

ODOT met with the project contractor Tuesday afternoon, who confirmed that traffic will be switched next week on Friday, April 26. Weather permitting, the whole project will be finished in late June. 

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