By John Durkee
Tulsa, OK – A large back hoe rips into a multi story building along 51st street just east of Lewis.
Matt Casillas is the project manager for the I-44 widening project from the Oklahoma Department of Transportation. We met him in the parking lot where the Graves office building was coming down to make way for the interstate widening project. This is not the only project that has to me moved out of the way, two other buildings on the northeast corner of 51st and Lewis must be razed.
The stretch of roadway is among those most dangerous now. The roadway is two lanes each direction and it is the scene of numerous traffic smash-ups. In fact, O-Dot says well over one thousand wrecks have happened in this stretch since the year 2000. Nearly two dozen have been fatal. Casillas says once the construction actually begins on the roadway shift it will take until the end of 2012 to complete.
The work on I-44 is costing $340-million.