Work to begin on first diverging diamond interchange in Tulsa

TULSA, Okla. — Work is starting Monday on the first diverging diamond interchange in northeast Oklahoma.

It’s going to be in south Tulsa on S. Memorial Dr. at the US-169 and SH-364/Creek Turnpike interchange.

ODOT said they want this $13 million project to help ease traffic in the area.

Other states already have diverging diamond interchanges, and there’s one in Elk City, but this will be the first one in Tulsa.

Diverging diamond interchanges change the traffic so that for a short time drivers are taken onto the opposite side of the road.

ODOT said it’ll help cut back on back-ups in the area with traffic moving more freely on and off the highways. They also said it’ll help stop wrong way driving onto ramps and that there will be no more left turns across traffic.

ODOT said new signs, signals and pavement markings will help show drivers where to go.

Drivers in the area told FOX23 what they think of the plans.

“We’ve travelled all round the United States and seen funky stuff like that and it looks like a lot of fun,” said Kyle Wester.

“I’m willing to learn new things, but it does look awfully confusing,” said Matt Moore.

“Something does need to be done, it is a diamond I mean I guess we can try it and then if it works, it works, if it doesn’t, it doesn’t,” Moore also said.

“No I’ve never heard of it before and I don’t know what it’s going to do for the traffic flow or if it’s going to help or anything,” said Simon Alvord.

“It does get backed up, so if it helps I’m all for it,” Alvord also said.

“Never heard of it but interested to see how it would work,” said Phil Mckinney.

ODOT said two lanes of traffic are going to stay open in each direction for most of the time while they build the new intersection.

No ramp closures are expected for either US-169 or the Creek Turnpike

If all goes well, work should be done by spring of 2024.