OKLAHOMA CITY - ODOT tells us they're hoping that these next two weekends will be the last time they'll have to close the highway for the I-235 Off Broadway Project. They also tell us they're ahead of schedule.
Because of the back-to-back weekend closures, you'll have to find an alternate route if you use I-235 between 36th and I-44.
"This weekend, plans are to go ahead and hang the beams at 50th Street and also start the construction at that 50th Street bridge,” Terri Angier, spokesperson for the Oklahoma Department of Transportation, said.
The area will close from 7 p.m. Friday to 6 a.m. Monday morning.
It will cost the contractor $20,000 per lane per hour if this weekend's project isn't completed on time.
"So, if the contractor, for example, is an hour late, it's going to cost him $80,000 so we're pretty certain he will stay with the schedule,” Angier said.
Once the beams are put into place, crews will be able to construct the bridge to open 50th Street by this summer.
"We're very excited again, thanking the residents, but also giving them some good news that that's on track to open this summer so they don't have to detour around to go from one side of I-35 to another,” Angier said.
Tentatively, ODOT is also planning to close at the same time March 9th through the 12th to remove the old BNSF railroad bridge.
A necessary step to be able to widen the highway.
“So even though these milestones are extremely important, the actual high activity aspects of this project are yet to come,” Angier said.
The $88 million-dollar construction project is the single largest dollar amount project awarded to the transportation department.
Construction started last January and so far, is ahead of its three year completion date.
You can watch the beam placement and railroad removal by clicking here.
Motorists may use I-35, I-40, I-44 and Lake Hefner Parkway as detour high way routes during the upcoming closures. Additionally, the City of Oklahoma City has provided N. Classen Blvd, N. Martin Luther King Ave., Reno Ave., N. 23rd St. and N. 36th St. as local detour routes.
Also note, I-35 between 122nd and 2nd street is being repaved. It will be down to one lane at times.