Drivers Say Goodbye to Old I-40 Crosstown

Wednesday, February 29th 2012, 6:50 pm
By: News 9

Saying goodbye can be difficult, even if you're saying it to a big chunk of concrete.

Oklahoma City's old Crosstown I-40 bridge opened to the public for the last time on Wednesday.  For a few hours, the old highway bustled with runners, bikers, photographers, and folks just strolling down the empty lanes.

Terri Angier, spokesperson for the Oklahoma Department of Transportation, said the "going away party" almost didn't happen.

"It's one of those things you're so focused on opening the new lanes, that there's not much thought into if there's an event we want to do with this," said Angier.  "But we thought it would be nice to give people a last chance to come say goodbye." 

Oklahoma City resident Terri Thomas brought her bicycle for a farewell ride on the old crosstown.

"It's kind of bittersweet," said Thomas.  "Because you'll never again get this view of Oklahoma City, kinda that elevated, gritty street view"

Scott Nazelrod and his girlfriend walked the old bridge, picking up chunks of it along the way.  But it took some encouragement for Nazelrod to walk the middle of the road.

"I was walking on the shoulder just kinda out of habit," said Nazelrod.  "My girlfriend was like 'Well, y'know, why aren't you walking down the lanes?  You don't ever get to do that.'"

Josie Ford and two of her coworkers showed up a few hours into the party and took at least a dozen pictures of each other on the old crosstown.

"I've traveled it so many years and now it's gonna be gone, so hey, it's a wonderful event," said Ford.  "It's just history."

Pictures weren't the only things visitors walked away with on Wednesday though.  ODOT allowed folks to take pieces of the bridge home as souvenirs.