Major Traffic Headaches Coming for OKC’s I-235 Drivers



State Transportation Commissioners will meet Monday to consider the single largest contract in the history of the Oklahoma Department of Transportation. Commissioners are expected to vote on approval of an $81 million contract with possible financial incentives for the project to reconstruct and widen I-235 and replace the NW 50th Street and BNSF railroad bridges over the interstate in Oklahoma City.

And it will lead to perhaps one of the biggest traffic headaches for drivers in north Oklahoma City as well as challenges for ODOT workers. The work will involve the widening of I-235 from NW 36th street to I-44 and that will mean a narrowing of traffic to one-lane on weekends and evenings.

Terri Angier, a spokeswoman for ODOT said it will be a three-year project and there will be few options to avoid a total shutdown of the stretch of I-235 in some instances.

The repaving will be the first project and it will begin in late May or early June, resulting in a one-lane for motorists for several weeks. But the major challenge will be in the fall when work begins in replacing the railroad bridge as well as the NW 50th street bridge. With 92,000 cars and trucks a day traveling that portion of I-235, work will result in a total shutdown of the Interstate on six different weekends.

More work will be considered in other projects in the next three years and the total cost will be $200 million, according to Angier.

The meeting will be Monday morning in the State Transportation Building. In addition to the I-235 project, the Commission will consider a contract to rehabilitate the West 23rd Street bridge over I-244 and the BNSF railroad in Tulsa.

Don’t be surprised to find many of those attending the meeting to be wearing orange.

It will be “Wear Orange on Monday” for the DOT in its ongoing work zone safety campaign. Agency leaders will recognize ODOT’s Work Zone Warriors representing hundreds of coworkers in the field.



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