TULSA, Okla. — The project to transform the interchange at I-44 and US-75, which was expected to be completed toward the end of the decade, is now expected to be mostly complete within the next two years.
FOX23 confirmed the Oklahoma Department of Transportation (ODOT) moved the planned second third phases forward to begin work on long-anticipated flyover ramps late next year.
Work on the first phase of the project began in 2020 and is nearly completed. That phase rebuilt the bridges where US-75 crosses over I-44, and well as where Union Avenue passes over I-44. It also rebuilt the previously existing cloverleaf interchange, as well as a number of tall piers to hold up future flyover ramps.
The initial plan called for those piers to sit unused for several years until funding for future phases to build the ramps on them became available.
“We had to build them now because we had funding to build them now,” ODOT spokesperson TJ Gerlach said.
The second and third phases were initially slated to begin construction in 2027, but after reevaluating funding priorities, ODOT will begin construction on them in late 2023.
“We run off of an 8-year-construction work plan, and that is rebalanced every summer,” Gerlach said. “We were able to move those work packages up.”
Those two phases will bring new flyover ramps to carry traffic from westbound I-44 to southbound US-75 and from northbound US-75 to eastbound I-44. They will also reconstruct the interchange at US-75 and 61st Street, and add a new 51st Street underpass below US-75.
“Some of the work is actually going to stretch a mile each way on 75″, Gerlach said.
Construction for the fourth phase, which initially did not have an expected date for construction, is now slated for 2024. That phase will add flyover ramps from southbound US-75 to eastbound I-44 and from northbound US-75 to westbound I-44.
The fifth and final phase, which did not initially have an expected date for construction, is now slated to begin in 2026. That phase will completely rebuild the stretch of I-44 from Union Ave. to I-244.
Gerlach says he expects work on each of the phases to last around 18 months each. He says the disruptions to traffic will be less significant than the first phase, since the US-75 bridges have already been rebuilt, fewer lanes will have to close.
ODOT has an interactive map where you can see what each phase will bring in detail on its website.
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