OKLAHOMA CITY - Just in time for the first home Thunder basketball game of the season, Oklahoma City officials announced three new direct interstate routes to downtown Oklahoma City will be open Friday.

Officials said the restoration of interstate access is possible due to construction having been recently completed on the east end connection of the I-40 Crosstown corridor. At 2 p.m. Friday, drivers can travel from I-40, I-35 and I-235 directly to downtown Oklahoma City connecting to E.K. Gaylord/Shields Blvd.

The opening improves one of the biggest challenges for downtown Oklahoma City visitors, which is entering and exiting the area after events. Officials said with direct access restored, traffic will flow much more smoothly and ease some of the downtown and Bricktown congestion.

The interstate routes are new connections made possible by the ongoing development of the OKC Boulevard after the I-40 Crosstown was relocated in 2012. Since that time, ODOT has continued to execute the two projects needed to restore direct access on the east end of the I-40 Crosstown corridor to downtown Oklahoma City.

The connections opening Friday include:

  • Westbound I-40 off-ramp to westbound OKC Boulevard
  • Southbound I-235 off-ramp to westbound OKC Boulevard
  • Northbound I-35 off-ramp to westbound OKC Boulevard; and
  • Lincoln Blvd. ramp to westbound OKC Boulevard
  • Eastbound OKC Boulevard ramp to eastbound I-40 which also provides access to northbound I-235 and north and southbound I-35. This same ramp provides access to Lincoln Blvd./Byers Boat House District

Drivers are encouraged to check out the new ramps and fit them into their trips. A map showing the new ramps can be found here.