Construction of I-244 bridge over Arkansas River causing sleepless nights for nearby residents

TULSA - It's the noise that's kept people living by the I-244 bridge up all night.

Sarah Henry has heard it around the clock, for the last week at the neighboring Westport Apartments. 

"If you can get to sleep by midnight when they are taking a break you're awake by 1 a.m., 1:30," Henry said. "It continues all night. They only take a break at midnight and noon."

Henry and her boyfriend have been going on very little sleep this week. The Oklahoma Department of Transportation said they have received calls about the late night noise. Crews are working 24/7 to finish the project as quickly as possible. 

"There are unfortunately neighborhoods near the highway that are going to hear the noises from the highway and from the deconstruction," said ODOT spokeswoman Kenna Carmon. "The contractor right now really is trying to expedite this work by doing some 24/7 operations."

That is news that's a little hard for residents near the bridge to hear.

"To make everyone else miserable in the meantime, I understand during the day, at night though it just doesn't make any sense," Henry said. "It doesn't seem like its something that needs to be done at night."

According to ODOT the construction is impacting approximately 70,000 commuters per day. That puts ODOT in a tough spot as it tries to balance noise complaints and drivers.

"It does became a catch for us because on one side we have people saying hurry up with the project, get the roadway back open. Do whatever it takes," Carmon said. "On the other side don't impact me. Don't do the work where I can see it or be impacted. So we are really trying to do the best that we can."

Henry and others have also asked about debris, concrete and metal from the bridge, that is visibly falling into the river below.

ODOT said that it is being collected and it will not have a negative impact on the river. 

"We are recycling the concrete that is falling down into the river," Carmon said. "That is being used into a new work road that crews can use through out the construction project. The work road will not limit any of the water flow all the way across the river but it does help crews get out to the areas where they can start the new construction."

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