Next Phase of I-235 Construction Begins In January - News9.com - Oklahoma City, OK - News, Weather, Video and Sports |

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Next Phase of I-235 Construction Begins In January

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OKLAHOMA CITY -

As you make your way out of town for the holidays, you may notice construction equipment lining up along I-235, preparing for the next phase of a major road project.

ODOT calls this “Act 2” of the Off Broadway 44 project. Crews are gearing up for the three-year phase that may cause some major headaches for your commute.

Right now road signs are flashing the alert to be prepared for Jan. 2. After the holidays, crews will begin work adding a lane to either side of the Broadway Extension between N 36th Street and N 50th Street.

It is a big part of the expansion of the I-235/I-44 interchange, which is the most expensive ODOT project in history. This portion alone represents the single largest contract with ODOT, costing $88 million.

As News 9 previously reported, the corridor handles more than 100,000 drivers each day, much more than its capacity. In the long-run, three lanes on each side will help traffic flow, but in the interim expect things to get a lot slower.

The lane expansion also means replacing both the N 50th Street bridge and the railroad bridge that cross the highway there, which crews will complete in sections. Terri Angier with ODOT explains crews will, “take the bridge apart, but actually build it in pieces and place it over weekends when we have to close (I-235) entirely.”

Closing down the rail line at the bridge will mean diverting trains loading up in a major manufacturing area just south of there. Instead of continuing north, the trains will have to go back south into downtown to find an alternate route.

For drivers looking to avoid the construction altogether, ODOT suggests using I-35 or Lake Hefner Parkway during this three-year period. When heading to and from downtown Oklahoma City, ODOT recommends using N Classen Boulevard or N MLK Avenue for north and south routes. Traveling east and west, ODOT recommends NE 36th Street, NE 23rd Street or E Reno Avenue to get downtown. To access the State Capitol, you may still use Lincoln Boulevard.

ODOT has not announced exact dates for the road closures, but they advise you to follow their Twitter page @OKDOT to stay up to date. You can also check traffic conditions at www.oktraffic.org or sign up for daily advisories at www.odot.org.

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