Rusty Surette, News 9
OKLAHOMA CITY -- Metro residents are getting a glimpse into the future at Oklahoma's brand new "super highway," but don't expect it to be complete anytime soon.
Plans are now in place to make over the interstate interchange at I-235 and I-44 in northwest Oklahoma City. Work begins next year, but it could take up to 10 years to complete the entire makeover that includes expanded lanes on I-235 and new on and off ramps for the connections to I-44.
The total cost of the project is $150 million and is being paid for with state and federal funds, and that is part of the reason the project will take so long to complete.
According to the Oklahoma Department of Transportation, the money it takes to get the entire job complete isn't available all at once. ODOT receives only a certain amount of funds every fiscal year, and that's why the project is divided into different phases.
The other reason is convenience.
ODOT said if workers were to try and complete the entire project at one time, drivers would face extensive delays and detours during their commute.
Currently, ODOT said the intersection sees about 140,000 vehicles a day. That's nearly twice the amount it was designed to handle when it was built.