Construction begins on Norman end of I-35

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Data pix.

NORMAN, Okla. - If you drove through Norman Monday, you probably noticed the construction congestion on Interstate 35 at Main Street.

It was day one of what's expected to be a nearly two-year project there.

A welcome sight to some drivers like Michael Gordon.

"As far as going back and forth, getting on here off the Interstate is more difficult than any place I've ever lived," Gordon said.

In an effort to make I-35 at Main St. less congested, crews will be lengthening the on and off ramps, the bridge will be wider and the interstate will have six lanes a half a mile before and after the exit.

In the meantime, drivers will have to battle traffic and construction for nearly two years.

"The peak hour traffic periods in the morning, evening, game days that are going to be very challenging for us," Public Works Director, Shawn O'Leary, said.

While lanes are closed, detour signs are in place telling drivers to take Lindsey and Robinson Streets to get around the construction.

City leaders said the Main St. interchange and bridge was built 50 years ago.

Now, O'Leary says, it has to withstand 30,000 drivers a day and needs an update.

"We've tripled our population since that was built and so it's time for an update."

The finished product will look dramatically different with a Land Run theme.

"It's got to happen. You have issues here where you can't get off the interstate," Gordon said.

While drivers dread the construction, they look forward to a more traffic-friendly interchange.

The next project starts two weeks from now at the Canadian River Bridge.

To see daily lane closures, click here.


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