Construction on a new multimodal bridge on Interstate 244 can begin thanks to a signed agreement between the U.S. Department of Transportation and the Oklahoma Department of Transportation (ODOT) for $49.4 million in Recovery Act funds.
The reconstructed bridge will be Tulsa's first multimodal crossing to accommodate highway, pedestrian and bicycle traffic, as well as high-speed intercity and commuter rail.
The $86.5 million I-244 bridge replacement project is considered critical to Tulsa's proposed transit-oriented development plans. Without this bridge, a planned commuter rail line linking Tulsa's central business district and west bank areas will not move forward.
ARRA dollars will pay for the replacement of the existing bridge, which is in deteriorated condition. The bridge requires excessive lane closures for maintenance work, creating delays for travelers and extensive costs for the state. It is ranked as one of the worst five interstate bridges in the state, according to ODOT.
The $49.4 million grant was awarded under the Recovery Act's TIGER (Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery) program. The TIGER program is designed to promote innovative, multimodal and multijurisdictional transportation projects that provide significant economic and environmental benefits to an entire metropolitan area, region or the nation.