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Bridges needed work

Bridges needed work

Tulsa Beacon

Thursday - 11 March 2010

by Robert McDowell

In mid-February, a serious problem developed on the bridges that carry I-44, US-412, and SH-66 over 161st East Avenue. At the end of the month, it was still causing traffic back-ups for those who need to use this section of highway on a daily basis. Of course, the negative effect on those out-of-state travelers coming through or wishing to visit Tulsa is damaging to the image and tourist business.

A contract to widen to four lanes in each direction the stretch of this road from the Creek/Rogers Turnpike junction to the I-244 junction (about four miles) has finally been placed on the agenda. In fact, a contract to replace the two bridges at 161st East Avenue has already been let and construction begun. This work comes at least ten years too late, in my opinion.

Thanks to some money from the Hard Rock Casino on 193rd East Avenue, work already began last year to replace the bridges over that street. Of course, the popularity of the casino and hotel have caused such congestion that it was to its own benefit to assist in moving up that project.

Back in the 1990s when the ODOT (Oklahoma Department of Transportation) was given a substantial bond issue for road upgrades and construction, the needs of this section were examined and delayed. Part of the reason for not including that may lie with the total Democrat-controlled legislature in office at the time. Some projects that could be only construed as pork for members from more rural and less used roads were included in the bond projects... FULL ARTICLE


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