People have already begun complaining about the construction getting underway on the U.S. 62 bridges over the Arkansas River, but traffic headaches are going to get worse before they get better.
ODOT is replacing the two bridges, which have crossed the river for more than 50 years. The new bridges are expected to be wider than the existing ones. They are ready to be replaced.
But, there are two years' worth of construction in the future. Adjustments must be made by everyone who uses the highway, especially on a daily basis. For some people, it means patiently sitting in line, waiting their turn to get across the bridge. For others, it means they will be late arriving at their destination because they have not planned ahead for a delay.
Once they get one of the bridges patched, then traffic will be diverted to two-way traffic to the eastbound lanes and start work on westbound bridge replacement. ODOT District 1 Construction Engineer Mattie Abbott said westbound bridge replacement could take about a year.
If winter weather strikes, that will mean even bigger delays if there are collisions on the bridges. Leave a little more room between you and the vehicle in front of you.
Be patient. Take turns. Let people merge. Plan ahead and make sure you have extra time to get to your destination. But most of all, please be civil toward other drivers. They're just trying to get to their destination, too. No one is more important than anyone else. We have to work together.