Interstate 235, between N. 36th St. and I-44, has been closed since Friday night, and is scheduled to be closed until 8 p.m. Wednesday evening.
Construction crews have been working around the clock to finish two phases of a 3-year project.
“The I-235 expansion, I think, is going very well. It sounds as though we’re ahead of schedule,” said Mike Patterson, Executive Director of Oklahoma Department of Transportation (ODOT).
He said he is anxious to see how quickly the contractor and subcontractors can get the work done. There’s a possibility that it will open before the planned time. Patterson said there is a $40,000 per hour incentive to re-open early.
“[The contractor] is down and determined to earn his incentive,” he said.
The roads on I-235 already looks different than Friday. The bridge over the highway on North 50th St. is demolished and cleaned up. Some new lanes are lowered and paved. Patterson said a 96-inch drainage pipe is installed to help with drainage in the area, as I-235 has a history of flooding problems.
This 5-day closure was necessary for the project, according to Patterson.
“This was to get some things done that we needed to get done with nobody around,” Patterson said.
Once I-235 reopens, it will still be a construction zone. In the coming weeks, Patterson said drivers can expect to see the start of the new railroad bridge construction. Once the project is completed, I-235 will be a 6 to 8 lane highway in different areas, built for 100,000 cars to travel on each day.