Drivers who usually take Interstate 40 in Southeast Oklahoma City to commute might want to find another route soon. The Oklahoma Department of Transportation has announced a project that will create lane closures along the interstate between I-35 and Sooner Road.
Resurfacing I-40 between I-35 and Sooner Road is the first step before replacing each bridge. Crews will narrow I-40 to two lanes in each direction later this month. The project is expected to take up to 45 days.
“Get it ready to really serve as a detour for drivers so that during construction we don't have to close up another extra lane to do pothole repair for example,” said Terri Angier, with ODOT.
The resurfacing will cost $1.4 million. If the Oklahoma Transportation Commission approves a separate bridge project in April, the state will pay $82 million. This project is expected to start after approval in early summer and would take 2 ½ years to complete. ODOT said this is a busy area with over 70,000 drivers using the roadway.
“It'll be another major headache for drivers, especially those going between Midwest City, the eastern part of Oklahoma County to downtown Oklahoma City,” said Angier.
The six new bridges are planned at Crutcho Creek, Southeast 15th Street, and Sooner Road along east and westbound I-40. The bridges will be widened from three lanes to four. ODOT said these are some of the most structurally deficient bridges remaining on the state system and they've required constant maintenance and emergency closures for repairs.
“But we want to start asking people to look at those alternate routes and really use them as much as they can,” said Angier.