2019-08-06 ne-i44mapg1

The final phase of a decade-old Interstate 44 widening project east of Tulsa is beginning this week.

The $20 million project will widen the existing four-lane segment between 145th East Avenue and 177th East Avenue to eight lanes and also improve an interchange.

The project will cover about a two-mile section of I-44 and when completed, will mark the end of an overall expansion that began 10 years ago.

Work is set to begin this week and is expected to be completed in late summer 2020, weather permitting.

“This project will have an impact to traffic, and drivers should start planning ahead for delays in the corridor,” the Oklahoma Department of Transportation said in a news release.

This current project will tie into previous widening work on I-44 between the Interstate 244 split and 145th East Avenue, and near 177th East Avenue.

Work on I-44 widening and bridge replacement in areas between the I-244 split and Catoosa has been ongoing since 2009, ODOT spokeswoman Kenna Mitchell said in a previous story.

The bridges at 165th East Avenue were replaced in 2010 due to their deteriorated condition. Improvements to the interchange will be made as part of the current project.

Two lanes of I-44 in each direction are expected to remain open in the work zone during peak travel times, although drivers should plan for reduced speeds in this corridor, ODOT said.

“There should not be too much impact on traffic except for reduced speeds,” Mitchell said Monday.

If crews need to reduce traffic to one lane in one direction during the project, those closures will be done at night, Mitchell said.

About 66,100 vehicles per day travel in the affected I-44 area, according to 2018 ODOT traffic counts.

Specific lane and ramp closures will be announced as they are scheduled.

Drivers can sign up for daily traffic advisories at odot.org by clicking on the “Sign Up For News & Alerts” link on the main page of this website and selecting the Tulsa Metro option.

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Michael Dekker



Twitter: @michaeldekkerTW

Assistant Editor

Michael is an assistant news editor at the Tulsa World. He joined the World in November 2002, and has worked at newspapers in Oklahoma and Kansas since 1989. Phone: 918-581-8469

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