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'Traffic Henge': ODOT expects construction to resume in 2025

I-44 U.S. 75 Interchange construction Traffic Henge Tulsa Stonehenge.png
Posted at 6:42 PM, Jun 21, 2024

TULSA, Okla. — The names "Traffic Henge" or "Tulsa's Stonehenge" have stuck with Green Country commuters around the I44/U.S.-75 interchange for more than a year and a half by now.

"I've heard 'Tulsa's Stonehenge'. That's funny," commuter Andrew Ford said.

The sight spanning across the interchange also causes confusion that's made its way to some lawmakers, like Tulsa-area State Rep. Meloyde Blancett.

"Anytime anybody drives through there, the question (I get) is, 'What the heck?'" Rep. Blancett said.

Crews finished widening I-44 leading up to Highway 75 in 2022. The next phase in the project was to put some ramps on the columns starting this summer or fall, then move on to more widening and bridge work. That's no longer the case, but ODOT spokesman TJ Gerlach explained the delay is only because ODOT got federal grants to pay off its largest construction contracts in state history.

Previous coverage >>> As construction stalls, Tulsans refer to I-44/75 project as 'Traffic Henge'

"Thanks to both of those, we were able to combine the projects," Gerlach told 2 News. "And we're gonna do it at one time. So yeah, the original Phase 2 project was pushed back a little bit in order to combine the projects."

However, bidding won't start until September. In the meantime, "Traffic Henge" is a roadside attraction – at least, on Google Maps it is.

Tulsa Community College-West Campus, just down the road from the interchange, might contest the "Stonehenge" name, though. The college calls the campus's west-facing courtyard the original Tulsa-area "henge".

“We’re proud to have our own “West Campus Henge” that has captured the imagination of the community for years. The columns serve as a unique and educational feature for our students, providing an example of how ancient structures like Stonehenge may have been used for timekeeping and astronomical observations. We hope the West Campus Henge continues to inspire and educate long after the interchange is completed.”
Tulsa Community College

Regardless of what holds the title, Rep. Blancett and drivers like Ford can't wait to see it done - or at least worked on again by early next year.

"Hopefully, they won't have a bad traffic impediment at that time," Blancett told 2 News.

"It'd be nice to see it all come together because I think until it does, it's just gonna be – to me it's just dangerous," Ford said.

ODOT also plans to widen the bridges over the Arkansas River at the same time as installing the ramps.

Construction is planned to begin in early 2025 and finish in 2028.

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