OKLAHOMA CITY – Consider yourself warned. Drivers who use the Kilpatrick Turnpike or the Lake Hefner Parkway will be in some for big changes.
Officials with the Turnpike Authority confirm the southbound ramp onto the Hefner Parkway will have to close for 90 days.
The shutdown will start in two weeks.
The plan is to detour drivers onto Memorial and Portland but everyone knows it will be a hassle.
Almost 9,000 cars drive over it each day.
A concrete pillar, supporting the southbound Hefner Parkway flyover, needs to be removed to allow crews to expand the Kilpatrick Turnpike to six lanes.
Closing the busy ramp will be an inconvenience for many.
“It’ll definitely change the way I get to work,” Becca Baugher said.
“It’ll be impossible to get around over here,” Tisha Zitzow said.
“This is pretty inconvenient for motorists,” project engineer Stuart Ronald said.
The problem, detouring drivers onto the Portland exit then allowing people to turn south on Hefner Parkway, means thousands of extra drivers going through the traffic signals which will lead to delays.
“We apologize for delays,” Oklahoma Turnpike Authority deputy director Tim Stewart said. “There will be delays, but we encourage patience.”
In all, the flyover will be closed for about 90 days.
To cut down on the driving headaches, the contractor will be paid extra if they finish faster.
While the southbound flyover will close temporarily, it does not affect the northbound ramp heading east onto the Kilpatrick.
Rebuilding the bridge supports will cost about $600,000.
The entire seven-mile project has a price tag of close to $55 million.
The goal is to wrap up in spring of next year.