Construction on I-244 upsetting drivers


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Reported by: Ian Silver
Updated: 6/11/2013 10:23 am Published: 6/10/2013 3:33 pm


Three days into the Oklahoma Department of Transportation's latest construction project in Tulsa, drivers are already frustrated with the traffic backups.

On Friday, ODOT began closing lanes and on-ramps on I-244 as it prepared to replace the eastbound bridge over the Arkansas River.

Even though traffic is still moving eastbound across the bridge, drivers who talked to FOX23 said the new detour signs and lane closures are causing rush hour backups.

"Oh, it's just a mess. Everything is backed up. There's really no warning for it. When you try to get on the BA heading east, you've got no warning. All of a sudden you're 20 minutes late to wherever you're going," said Patrick Adams, a commuter.

Adams lives in Sand Springs, but spends a lot of time in Tulsa.

He said it's not just this project that's frustrating; it's that it's one project after another.

"From downtown to Sand Springs should be very easy to get on the highway and head out. But I can't. There's always something I gotta dodge, I've always gotta take an alternate route. And it's a pain in the butt and I'm sick of it," said Adams.

After having her windshield cracked crossing the bridge, Andrea Landsaw knows the bridge needs to be replaced, but that doesn't make it any less frustrating during the process.

"The lanes are so narrow, and you've got all the semi traffic. It's terrifying as a driver for all the, you know, semi drivers that are having to squeeze into those little biddy lanes. It's scary," she said.

Not to mention how long her commute is now.

"It would add probably 20 minutes to my drive," she said.

But she knows ODOT has to do these projects when it has the money, and in the end she doesn't really have a better alternative.

"I don't know the answer to that, honestly," she said.

Neither does Adams, but that doesn't make it any easier.

"It just seems like it never ends," he said.

It is going to be a while before there's relief from that frustration. The $41 million project is expected to take 22 months to complete.


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