Drivers complain about I-35 construction project

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OKLAHOMA CITY - Some motorists said it’s jarring.

"It's clunk clunk clunk clunk clunk!" said Rob Cowger.

Others said it’s downright dangerous.

"It's a matter of time before somebody gets injured or killed out there,” said Marshall Hunter.

They’re talking about a construction project on I-35 northbound between Memorial Road and 2nd Street.

Oklahoma Department of Transportation officials call it a pavement rehabilitation project. They’re trying to stretch the life of the road.

It involves replacing panels in the highway, and that’s created some rough and bumpy patches.

Unfortunately, ODOT officials said it has to be that way during the project.

"They pour the panel at a specific depth. So, that's where you feel that little bit of a bump. And, that little bit of a bump is just to make sure we have enough cover over the rebar,” said ODOT engineer Trenton January.

"If you have an elevation change of just an inch and you hit that at highway speeds…” Hunter said.

Hunter said it almost took a bad turn for him last week while riding his motorcycle when a car pulling a trailer hit the rough parts and nearly lost control.

"The guy started to swerve and swerved right into my lane, just missing me by less than a foot,” he said.

"We've gotten several complaints, and we've tried to address them as the best that we can,” January said.

ODOT engineers said they’ve asked the contractor to put additional signage out warning of a rough road ahead. And, they said they’re monitoring the progress.

"They're making sure that those panels aren't getting two or three inches higher than the existing because that would be even worse. So, we're trying to minimize the impact that it has on the traveling public,” January said.

Officials said, as long as drivers don’t exceed the speed limit, it’s not a safety hazard.

Once all the panels are replaced, the final phase of the project is to level everything out.

ODOT said they hope to have the project completed by sometime in August.

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