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IDL repaving project pushed back to July 20

IDL repaving project pushed back to July 20

Tulsa World - by: GAVIN OFF World Data Editor
Wednesday, July 08, 2009

Contractors have delayed for a week the start of the state’s largest federally funded stimulus project — repaving the north and west legs of the Inner Dispersal Loop.

Work, scheduled to begin Monday, has been pushed back to July 20 to give Manhattan Road & Bridge Co. and Sherwood Construction Co. time to finish patching potholes on the IDL’s east and south legs and time to bring equipment to the site.

“There are a lot of things that aren’t exactly in their hands,” said Paul Green, Oklahoma Department of Transportation division construction engineer. “Starting a $70 million project in just a couple months is enough of an undertaking.”

Green said the change in dates will not hurt the repaving project. By contract, crews with Sherwood Construction Co. have 40 days to complete the patching, which began June 8.

In all, they’ll patch some 7,100 square yards of highway at a cost of about $1.68 million, said Jennifer Tyler, project manager.

“There’s going to be so much detour traffic already, we really want to make that detour as smooth as possible,” said Kenna Mitchell, ODOT spokeswoman.

Already, the loop sees about 62,000 vehicles a day, according to ODOT.

Then, starting July 20, crews will begin repaving Interstate 244 from its bridge over U.S. 75 to the Arkansas River.

The stretch includes three miles of highway and nearly 40 bridges.

They’ll start by repaving the southbound lanes of the loop’s west leg and the westbound lane of the IDL’s north leg.

Work on those sections will last about six to seven months, with work on the north leg running a bit longer because it contains more bridges.

Traffic normally carried by those roads will be diverted to the southbound lanes of the east leg and the westbound lanes of the loop’s south leg — sections crews are currently patching.

Work will then shift to the northbound lanes of the IDL’s west leg and the eastbound lanes of its north leg.

The entire project is scheduled to take 18 months to complete.

“It will be a much better ride,” Green said. “There will be a lot less lane closures for emergency deck repairs, and it does a lot for the city when your infrastructure is in good condition.”

But Green said construction will cause traffic delays, and he asked motorists for patience.

To help, ODOT will have 30 electronic signs — some up to eight miles away — that read traffic and tell motorists if they should expect delays on the IDL, Tyler said.

Signs placed far from the IDL could help drivers avoid the area all together.

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