Work has begun to restore highway lighting on the Broken Arrow Expressway (SH 51). The City of Tulsa’s contractor for the work, Traffic & Lighting Systems, has been working on the lights where a lane closure is not necessary.
Work will begin this Friday, Dec. 15, to restore Broken Arrow Expressway lighting in the areas where a lane closure will be necessary. This area is between South Columbia Avenue and South Sheridan Road, on the barrier wall in the center median next to the Union Pacific Railroad tracks.
The inside lane will be closed during the work, to allow crews to use that lane for trucks and equipment. The goal, weather permitting, is to complete the project during daylight hours for three weekends. The lane closure schedule is as follows:
The highway lights have been inoperable since vandals stole the copper wiring that carries the electricity to the lights. Over the past two years, about 34 miles of copper has been stolen from highway lights citywide, including on the Broken Arrow Expressway. To deter thieves, crews have replaced the copper wires with aluminum and put stickers on each pole stating – in English and Spanish – “We use aluminum.”
Through the efforts of both City Traffic Operations workers and contractor crews, 85 percent of this damaged lighting has been repaired, completing Phase I of the citywide project to restore highway lighting. Phase II of the project includes the Broken Arrow Expressway and the Inner Dispersal Loop (highways encircling downtown). Phase II is scheduled for completion in late 2018.