Officials give update on temporary I-235 closure in Oklahoma City

OKLAHOMA CITY – Officials have announced updates on the temporary I-235 closure in Oklahoma City.

The Oklahoma Department of Transportation released an update Friday, stating I-235 will be fully closed to traffic at the I-44 interchange for about five days in June, weather permitting.

The extended closure is designed to eliminate some future traffic headaches for drivers.

The nearly 100,000 motorists who use this corridor daily are urged to plan their alternate routes now.

Motorists are advised to use alternate routes such as I-35, SH-74 (Lake Hefner Parkway) to I-44, I-40 or use Lincoln Blvd. for those accessing the state Capitol area.

I-235 closures are planned for the three-year, $88 million contract to widen and reconstruct the interstate between N. 36th Street and N. 50th Street.

The closures are necessary for traffic safety while work occurs above the interstate, and the contract projects up to six weekend closures during the three years of construction.

However, the contractor has proposed this first I-235 closure between I-44 and N. 36th St. be extended for five consecutive days to accomplish several objectives with the payoff for motorists being the elimination of 20 days of single lane traffic in each direction, which was part of the original design plan.

“The department is working hard to keep closures to a minimum, however, some closures are necessary for safety,” said Terri Angier, ODOT spokeswoman. “Additionally, the adjustments are designed to help minimize future closures. We believe this solution will greatly benefit motorists who travel I-235 this summer by keeping two lanes of travel open in each direction as much as possible after this first closure.”

I-235 is tentatively scheduled to close between I-44 and N. 36th St. at 8 p.m. Friday, June 2, and reopen by 8 p.m. Wednesday, June 7, depending on weather and other factors.

If the contractor takes advantage of more than $500,000 in financial incentives offered by the department, I-235 could open as earlier Wednesday, June 7.

The following construction tasks, among others, are planned for this first full closure:

  • Reopening the eastbound I-44 off-ramp to southbound I-235 when the interstate reopens June 7;
  • Removal of the remaining N. 50th St. bridge spans and piers, which likely will result in higher levels of noise for up to two nights while crews jackhammer the piers for removal; and
  • Completion of temporary southbound and northbound traffic lanes in preparation for a lane shift that will be in place when the interstate reopens June 7.

Future I-235 closures will include work to remove the BNSF railroad bridge near N. 50th St. and sliding the completed new railroad bridge back into place once it’s built on site, which is anticipated to occur early next year.

This is the single largest dollar amount project awarded in ODOT history. It was awarded in May 2016 and began with a resurfacing project in August 2016 to help prepare the pavement for three years of construction. Work on this three-year contract began Jan. 2 with expected completion by 2020.

Here’s how to keep up with daily lane closure notifications:

  • Drivers can sign up for email alerts at www.odot.org under News & Alerts;
  • Follow @OKDOT on Twitter and Facebook; and
  • Real-time travel conditions may be found at www.oktraffic.org

Learn more about the I-235 construction project at https://www.ok.gov/odot/OFF_Broadway_and_I-235.html