TULSA, Okla. — The Oklahoma Department of Transportation is temporarily closing all northbound lanes on Highway 169, while the Burlington Northern Santa Fe railroad repairs a train bridge.
The lanes will be closed Thursday night into Friday morning from 7pm to 5am, then Friday night into Saturday morning, again 7pm to 5am.
Drivers get a break on Saturday with no closings before they close again during the day on Sunday from 8am to 5pm.
“Those will be closed from I-244 up to 36th Street North,” said ODOT Spokesperson TJ Gerlach.
He said BNSF is replacing a beam on the rail bridge north of Pine St.
Meanwhile, ODOT said drivers, especially semi-truck drivers, should take I-244 east, to merge onto I-44 and continue onto Highway 167 near the Hard Rock Casino in Catoosa. Then take Highway 167 north towards the Port of Catoosa on Highway 266, and then take that back west to Highway 169.
“Taking the official detour will probably add anywhere from 15 to 20 minutes,” Gerlach said.
Tulsa driver Angelo Estes regularly takes the closed route.
“It’ll definitely be a nightmare,” he said.
He says the problem won’t be the road closure, but how drivers deal with it.
“People barely know how to drive without construction, you know what I mean,” Estes said. “So I can’t imagine with it blocked off and, like you say, a long detour to try to get where you need to go.”
Gerlach said everything should be back to normal in time for Monday morning’s work commute.
“We just ask for everybody’s patience, if you happen to be traveling northbound on Highway 169,” Gerlach said.