Hwy 169 construction closes lanes, where to avoid the traffic this weekend

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Reported by: Sara Whaley
Updated: 2/14 10:05 pm Published: 2/14 8:35 pm

OWASSO, Okla. -  Part of a major highway in Tulsa is officially closed. The shutdown started around 7:30 Friday night.

Both directions of Highway 169 at 46th Street North will stay closed this weekend, which will cause a major slowdown.

Our FOX23 team is covering this developing story, checking into how this change is impacting drivers.

Drivers are tired of taking the long way around because of orange barrels and "road closed" signs.

"It’s going to be a major interruption. We're like, ya know….come on, city,"said driver Danny Devore. 

"You know you gotta loop somewhere, you have to hit a connection [here] it changes your whole day," said driver Bill Ermin. 

There are more than orange traffic barrels alerting you of the closure, there are flashing lights lighting up the sky Friday night, signaling the beginning of another construction project-- the lights that Owasso residents don't like.

"I think it just wears us all out," said driver Bill Ermin. 

The Oklahoma Department of Transportation is replacing the 46th Street North Bridge, starting with the east side.

However, in order to tear it down, crews have to get traffic off the highway this weekend.

Drivers are skeptical, but the Owasso Chamber of Commerce president, Gary Akin, is onboard with the decision.

He says it's a part of a stepping stone for the city of Owasso.

"You gotta go through these pains, if you will…..of growth," said Akin.

O-DOT says the bridge is 60 years old and it's dangerous for drivers.

While this isn't a street in the city of Owasso, Akin told FOX23 it's still an important project for Owasso residents to embrace.

"I look at it as safety first, followed quickly by economic development to grow a city and a region and a corridor, and that's important," Akin said.

He says it’s because the future of Owasso is directly tied to transportation. "If we don't do this, [then] what will the children and businesses be saying 20 years from now? Or will they even be coming here?" Akin explained.

We have been in contact with O-DOT Friday night and have done some major research on these detours.

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