Construction has begun on redecking the I-244 Arkansas River bridges, a project that had not been announced a year ago. Presently, the southbound bridge has its inner lanes closed, which also has resulted in closing the Seventh Street on ramp to westbound I-244 from downtown, the 17th Street off ramp from I-244/U.S. 75 and the southbound U.S. 75 ramp from the Broken Arrow Expressway to westbound I-244. As a result, southbound U.S. 75 now exits at Houston Avenue, travels south to 12th Street, west to Southwest Boulevard (where a temporary traffic signal has been installed) and then south on Southwest Boulevard to the I-244/U.S. 75 entrance ramp near 24th Street. Motorists also can travel the north and west legs of the Inner Dispersal Loop to avoid the city streets. This bridge redecking project will not involve removing the deck to the girders and pouring a new deck. Instead, the old surface will be removed and deteriorated areas will be repaired. Then, a high-density concrete overlay will be applied to the entire bridge deck, the same procedure used on the 17th Street on-ramp project in 1984. The northbound bridge has not been started, but work is scheduled to commence on it in a few weeks. Photograph taken April 1987.
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