I-235 Reopens More Than 24 Hours Ahead Of Schedule
OKLAHOMA CITY - Good news for about a hundred thousand Oklahoma City drivers: I-235 is back open a full day ahead of schedule. The interstate was shut down this weekend as crews moved a massive railroad bridge into place.
In what ODOT is calling an amazing feat of engineering a self-propelled mobile transporter moving the first half of the 4 million-pound, 550-foot long rail road bridge into place.
“If we had used traditional bridge building methods, I-235 would have been close anywhere from three to six months,” said Lisa Shearer-Salim with ODOT.
Instead, the process took just one weekend.
The first span was put into place on Saturday the second on Sunday. It took about six hours to move each one. A process that attracted about 700 spectators.
I-235 was scheduled to be closed until Tuesday morning. But crews worked through the night removing the gravel used to smooth a path for the transporter, then putting the concrete barriers back up and repainting the lane lines.
The contractor did not get a bonus for getting done early, but avoided an $20,000 per lane, per hour penalty if they didn't get the interstate back open by Tuesday morning.
Still, this likely isn't the last time drivers will have to find an alternate route. ODOT says two more weekend shut downs are likely coming.
This spring, they will need to take down the old railroad bridge and then the highway will need to be closed again to hang the beams for the 50th Street bridge.
Crews were also able to straighten out some of those curves so it isn't quite as dicey driving through the area, but ODOT does recommend using an alternate route until they finish the entire project which is about another 12 months.