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“It will impact a lot of people,” 92,000 daily commuters affected by highway widening project starting Jan. 2

OKLAHOMA CITY - You can expect congestion on I-235 and the Broadway Extension to lighten up, but it will take three years of construction to do it.

Now the Oklahoma Department of Transportation is telling drivers to use an alternate route until 2020.

"This is going to be the single most largest project in dollar amount we've ever done in state history at the tune of $88 million, when you add the resurfacing project we did a few months ago as well,” Terri Angier, spokesperson for ODOT said.

A massive and complicated project set to begin on one of the busiest highways in the city.

The I-235 widening project starts in a little more than a week.

Crews are already prepping and ODOT wants to warn drivers to do the same.

“It will impact a lot of people. Anyone who lives north of 63rd Street, who goes downtown to work or to the Capitol, or everyone in Oklahoma City who goes to Bricktown."

The interstate at 36th street to the Broadway Extension will be narrowed to one lane during some of the construction. And will be closed on several weekends.

Workers will start near 36th street to widen the highway and reconstruct the BNSF bridge.

"Later in the summer we will have one lane in each direction as part of this project."

The reason for the construction zone?

ODOT says it's long overdue for the Broadway Extension which is built to withstand 35,000 vehicles.

Now, 92,000 vehicles pass over it a day.

"It was a regular road like Britton would be or like Eastern would be, and over time they made it have features to where it became a highway," Angier said.

And residents hope it will make it a safer commute.

"I'll be happy to get four lanes eventually open up all the way through because that bottle neck has caused so many accidents over the years. Hopefully it will also fix the flooding problem in that same area,” Dwight Fortune said.

Residents are highly urged to use an alternate route during the three year construction project.

ODOT recommends using Lincoln Boulevard, Eastern, I-35 and the Lake Hefner Parkway.