On January 25, the Oklahoma Department of Transportation (ODOT) started its $90 million roadwork project on I-44 and US 74. Many ramps will be closed, and roads will be narrowed while the project is ongoing. A major aim of the project is to expand I-44 from four lanes to six lanes between the west side of the Arkansas River Bridge and Union Avenue.
Other changes, according to Tulsa World, include replacing five bridges and “replacing and slightly reconfiguring all four cloverleaf ramps at the interchange to match geometry of the new elevation of the U.S. 75 bridges over I-44.”
Work zones can be perilous for drivers
Traffic conditions will be rough for Tulsa drivers during construction. For the first several months of 2021, there will be just one lane in each direction on I-44, according to ODOT. US 75 will also only have one lane of traffic at some places including some piers which will be part of future projects for the interchange at the I-44/U.S. 75 interchange. ODOT urges drivers to plan alternate routes such as I-244, especially during peak travel hours, and to be prepared for traffic delays.
Drivers need to be careful outside of rush hour traffic, too. Construction work can lead to a lot of road hazards, including:
- Changing lanes and passing zones
- Falling debris from bridges
- Road debris from construction
- Slow-moving construction vehicles cutting in and out of traffic
- Uneven surfaces during road milling
- Stop-and-go traffic patterns
- Bright (and sometimes blinding) lights
- Covered road signs
- Poorly marked on and off ramps
Drivers are often confused about how to maneuver around new construction work. Detours mean drivers need to find alternate routes which may be congested, leading to rear-end collisions and other types of car accidents. Drivers who don’t know which route to take may become distracted while they’re figuring out where to go.
Further, construction zones often have big trucks moving in and out of confined areas. If a trucker cannot see a car in its blind spot, the chances of collision increase.
Perhaps the biggest risk of work zone crashes, however, is the number of vehicle involved. Because of the way road construction zones are created, there could be an increased risk of multi-car collisions. The more people involved, the more complicated it becomes to file a claim, so you will want an injury attorney who can help you,
At Biby Law Firm, we handle the difficult cases. We fight for individuals and families – not the insurance company. To speak with an experienced car and truck accident lawyer, call us at 918-574-8458 or use our contact form to schedule an appointment.
Jacob Biby has spent his legal career helping folks just like you get the resources they need after an injury. He completed his undergraduate degree at Oklahoma State University and earned his Juris Doctorate from the University of Tulsa in 2008. Jacob is licensed to practice in all Oklahoma state and federal courts, and has limited his career to representing individuals and families who were injured by the negligence of other people or corporations. Learn more about Jacob Biby.