ODOT project expected to temporarily shut down part of I-235

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OKLAHOMA CITY --- The Oklahoma Department of Transportation is expecting to close down one the metro’s most used interstates later this month.

ODOT officials plan to shut down I-235 to complete another phase in the project, but it’s not sitting well with many drivers.

“235, it is a joke in my opinion,” said Kevin Morgan.

If you have ever driven down I-235, you have likely seen the construction cones.

Officials say the current plan is to widen the interstate to six lanes, but the construction is enough to drive some motorists crazy.

“To me, I avoid it at all costs because what's it been 20, 30 years now since they started the construction of it?” Morgan said.

Now, ODOT is warning drivers to avoid the area later this month.

“What we're going to do is pick those railroad bridges up and put them in place over I-235,” said ODOT Director Mike Patterson.

Patterson said as crews move the two railroad bridges, they will have to shut down the interstate from north of 36th St. through the I-44 interchange for three days.

“This is adding a Monday to our Saturday and Sunday closures,” Patterson said.

Cranes, trucks and crews will help lift the structures into place. However, weather could dampen those plans.

“This is one of the real critical points of the project to get these railroads bridges in place so we can realign the railroad and take down the old railroad,” said Patterson.

The agency hopes to have the $88 million dollar project completed by December 2018.

However, drivers would like to see things speed up.

“I really wish they would hurry. That way we can get to and from work in a meaningful amount of time,” Morgan said.

ODOT officials say they will alert drivers when they have an exact weekend plan for the closure.