I-244 eastbound bridge closed

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Reported by: Michelle Linn
Updated: 7/16/2013 11:35 am Published: 7/15/2013 4:15 pm

The eastbound Interstate 244 bridge over the Arkansas River is officially closed.

Traffic is moving in both directions on the westbound bridge over the Arkansas River, and crews are tearing down the eastbound bridge.

"We've been warning drivers about this, lane closures, and now they're here," said Kenna Carmon, with the Oklahoma Department of Transportation.

"It'll probably be really nice, but right now it's a hassle, it's a hassle," said MaryAnn Himebaugh, a Tulsa driver.

The westbound I-244 bridge opened to traffic in December. It was part of a $78 million project and included lanes for rail traffic and pedestrian traffic.

"It's a waste of money putting a pedestrian and the train deal in, because we're never going to use it, and if we use it, it's never going to go nowhere," said another driver, Jody Davis.

The eastbound bridge isn't quite as expensive. It won't have room for railroad traffic or pedestrians, but it will include a platform for pedestrians that will extend 300 feet on the northeast bank of the river.

Several lanes and ramps are closed at the southwest corner of the Inner Dispersal Loop, including the onramp from Denver Avenue, the eastbound I-244 ramp to 7th Street and the westbound I-244 ramp to eastbound 64/51.

"So far, so good. What we see is [it] takes drivers a few weeks to get used to the changes. Certainly over the next couple of days, just be on your guard as you go through there," said Carmon.

"Why can't they start and finish one project at a time instead of having 50 projects going at a time, making the whole city crazy?" added Davis.

"I just wish they wouldn't do it all at once," said Himebaugh.

ODOT told FOX23 the new $41 million eastbound bridge won't open until spring of 2015.

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The views expressed here do not necessarily represent those of KOKI FOX23 - Tulsa

Mayor Maynot - 7/15/2013 8:53 PM
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What goes east must also most likely go west. So just double the time and triple the indemnity. By the time this project is complete the structure will be obsolete. The growing cost of fuel will decrease the urgency and expense for the project by forcing more drivers off of the road.

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