Work starts Monday on ‘diverging diamond’ interchange at Creek Turnpike/U.S. 169 and Memorial
By John Dobberstein, Editor
Broken Arrow drivers heading to south Tulsa for work or play will soon have another major road construction project to contend with.
The Oklahoma Department of Transportation said work will begin Monday to transform the interchange at Memorial Drive and U.S. 169/Creek Turnpike into eastern Oklahoma's first diverging diamond interchange.
Work is expected to be completed in spring 2024, weather permitting.
Two lanes of traffic will be maintained on northbound and southbound Memorial Dr. between 93rd St. and 97th St. throughout the majority of the project, except a brief period when northbound traffic will be narrowed to one lane under the US-169 bridge.
Nearly 50,000 cars per day travel through the interchange on Memorial, and about 80,000 cars a day pass through the interchange on the Creek Turnpike, according to INCOG traffic maps.
No ramp closures are expected for either US-169 or the Creek Turnpike during construction.
Drivers are urged to give full attention to the road throughout construction and be aware of shifting lanes and new traffic configurations as work progresses, ODOT said.
The Oklahoma Transportation Commission awarded the nearly $13 million project to Becco Contractors Inc. in October 2022.
Once the completed, drivers will experience a new traffic configuration on Memorial Dr. at US-169.
Signage, signals and pavement markings will guide drivers through the intersection, which will briefly take north and southbound traffic to the opposite side of the road as usual.
According to ODOT, the “contraflow traffic alignment will allow for safer, free-flowing (un-signalized) turns onto the highway or turnpike using dedicated ramp lanes. Pedestrian safety is also improved by way of shorter routes across traffic lanes.”
Oklahoma's first DDI opened in September 2020 at the I-40 and SH-6 interchange in Elk City.
ODOT said DDIs offer a “proven solution” for improving traffic flow and safety at interchanges.
- The first DDI in the U.S. was constructed in Springfield, Mo., in 2009.
- DDIs create safer, less congested intersections.
- DDIs allow for fewer conflict (collision) points.
- DDIs give drivers better sight distance at turns.
- DDI pedestrian crossings are shorter.
- DDIs aim to eliminate left turns across traffic and thereby increase safety.
- DDIs give "free-flowing" or simple left- and right-hand turns from all directions.
- Wrong way entry to ramps becomes extremely difficult.