Okla. says goodbye to the old Crosstown

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OKLAHOMA CITY — Two weeks ago traffic along I-40 switched over to the brand new interstate. Both east and westbound lanes are moving on the new roadway now. Soon crews will be hard at work demolishing the old highway. But before the wrecking ball strikes, ODOT coordinated an open house for Oklahomans who want to say goodbye.

Several runners from the Oklahoma City Running Club came out for a three-miler on the raised highway Wednesday.

Chuck Mikkelson says, “We decided we’d come out and run the bridge since no one’s probably ever done it before.”

Mary Mikkelson says, “It’s a once in a lifetime event.”

Gary Wilson and Jim Pattillo came down to walk a stretch.

Pattillo remembers when the Crosstown Expressway first opened back in 1966.

“It was sparkling clean and there wasn’t a drop of oil on it or anything,” he said.

Years of traffic have left I-40 in sad shape.

The glory days are over.

Its patchwork concrete now woven into the fabric of Oklahoma City history.

Andrew Ciscel found several discarded license plates.

“I’m visiting from Tennessee. It’s my first trip out west. I found a couple of license plates here. There’s all sorts of scrap metal along here.”

Most of the visitors were Oklahomans who came for one final commute.

Wednesday’s event was coordinated by the Oklahoma Department of Transportation.

The highway is now closed to the public.