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Demolition continues on old Lewis bridge

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Story by: Janai Norman
Updated: 10/09/2013 12:15 pm Published: 10/09/2013 11:24 am

Demolition of the old Lewis bridge continued Wednesday after some minor setbacks.

Tuesday a shackle on the wrecking ball chain broke, postponing demolition another day.

Crews made progress as they knocked away most of the decades old bridge.

“If was just a solid hunk of concrete, a few whacks and it would come down,” Tulsa’s Resident Engineer for ODOT, Bruce Arnold, says.

It took more than that for construction crews to knock down the bridge, but now, the heaviest work is behind them.

FOX23 has been telling you this is the final phase of the $400 million I-44 Riverside Drive to Yale Avenue widening project.

“We’re going from a four lane interstate to a six lane interstate,” Arnold explained.

Arnold helped FOX23 explain what’s left for crews to do before it’s all said and done.

“You’re going to see the old alignment [on the curves of I-44] straighten out,” he said. “It was pretty crooked and one of the most dangerous stretched of highway in Oklahoma.”

For the last few weeks, if you drive on 44, you may have noticed you’re on the newly finished side. Arnold says that’s a sign we’re nearing the finish line.

“We’ve gotten some pretty good compliments on how the project has been progressing and also how traffic has been able to move through the project.”

FOX23 crews caught an accident slowing traffic in the eastbound lanes of I-44. Arnold says avoiding backups is just one of a list of ways drivers can help keep construction on schedule.

“If the drivers will follow the signs and speed limits through the construction zone, stay off their cell phones and don’t text through the construction zone,” he began, “traffic will flow a lot more smoothly.”

ODOT says the project is scheduled to be completed by Spring of 2014.

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