Beginning Oct. 28, Sand Springs area motorists can expect longer commute times to Tulsa, engineering officials say.
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers announced Monday, the bridge across Keystone Dam (State Highway 151) will be closed for replacement for more than a year, beginning Oct. 28 with an expected completion date of November, 2014.
A majority of the estimated 7,400 vehicles detoured each day will use the State Highway 97 corridor, primarily between US412/ SH65 and 41st Street in Sand Springs, T.J. Davis, the city's projects administrator, said.
“This represents approximately 25 percent more traffic, which during the morning and afternoon rush is already congested,” Davis said.
Davis said the last time the dam was closed for routine maintenance of the roadway, “we saw a significant increase along the the SH51 and SH97 corridors.”
“This (closure) caused delays with backups at SH51 west of SH97 and backups coming across the Hwy 97 bridge, during rush hours,” Davis said. “We can also expect some additional impact along Avery Drive, Morrow Road, and 41st Street.”
The dam bridge closure will also likely impact Sand Springs school bus routes.
Parents will be notified in advance of any changes, School Superintendent Lloyd Snow said.
Federal officials said the longest possible detour is approximately 18 miles if a motorist is on one side of the dam trying to get to the other side.
The bridge, which was built in 1964, is at the end of its useful life, federal officials said.
The project is estimated at $15.1 million, with the state of Oklahoma contributing $6 million.