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ODOT proposes new design for busy interchange in South Tulsa

Posted at 7:41 PM, Jul 09, 2021
and last updated 2021-07-12 08:08:19-04

TULSA, Okla. — ODOT wants to build a new and unique interchange at Memorial Drive and the Creek Turnpike.

The design is called the Diverging Diamond Interchange or DDI. The design is quite unique that Tulsa would be only the second city in the state with it. Elk City is the only other city in the state with the design already in place.

Kenna Mitchell, a spokeswoman with ODOT, told 2 News the proposed design would help reduce the congestion in the busy interchange and offer a safer option for drivers.

“It would be what we would call a retrofit so we would be putting in some of these additional elements inside the existing footprint,” Mitchell said.

Mitchell said the congestion in the area is due to two highways, a turnpike, and a city street coming together.

“When we get to those rush hours traffic starts even backing up onto the highway itself for travelers that are trying to exit to Memorial, so it really does create a hazard and that’s what we’re trying to help solve,” Mitchell said.

She said the DDI project will allow traffic to flow more smoothly. The DDI would direct drivers to the opposite side of the road to go through the interchange. Mitchell said the new design would significantly help reduce the number of collisions.

It would also create refuge islands for pedestrians and bicyclists crossing the roadway from the Creek Turnpike Trail.

ODOT is hosting a virtual open house through July 28th to hear the public's thoughts on the design.

“From there you can go and see how the DDI works through an interactive map, you can look at videos of how it works and then also leave comments or ask questions and all of this will help drivers better understand it and help us with the design process as well,” Mitchell said.

Mitchell said it's too early to know how much the project will cost because ODOT is still working through the design stages of the project. However, she said they are expecting a bid to go out in 2022. She said if the bid is successful, construction could start in 2022 or 2023.

She said the construction of the project could last up to two years.

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