Lanes On Eastbound I-44 Belle Isle Bridge Back Open

Monday, July 18th 2011, 8:34 am
By: News 9

UPDATE: Crews have patched up the road Monday afternoon, and all lanes are back open.

Jennifer Pierce, News9

OKLAHOMA CITY -- Evening rush hour traffic on the I-44 Belle Isle bridge could be affected by repairs on a faulty expansion joint.

Rush hour traffic was diverted around 6:45 Monday morning when the faulty joint caused a crack to appear in the eastbound lanes.  Some drivers hit the crack, causing damage to their vehicles.

The two inside lanes between the Classen on-ramp and Northwest Expressway off-ramp were shut down, reducing the traffic to one lane.  Crews now say the repairs may not be finished until sometime Monday evening.

David Meuser, spokesperson for the Oklahoma Department of Transportation said the road problems were not heat related but a result of age. However, Meuser did say ODOT is concerned about heat-related problems. He said the biggest problem is roads buckling because of the intense heat.

A crew was dispatched to repair such a problem near N. Lincoln Road and N.E. 37th Street Monday morning. Meuser said the other concern is keeping road crews safe.

ODOT workers shifts have changed.  Crews now come in at 6 a.m. and leave work before the hottest part of the day. They are also encouraged to drink water and stay hydrated.

If you do hit a buckle on a highway, contact OHP. If it causes damage to your car or you, you can file a claim with the state department of central services. They will investigate the claim and determined if it can be paid.