OKLAHOMA CITY - A massive construction project that will not only impact Norman drivers, but OU Football traffic this fall got underway Monday.
State transportation officials launched the reconstruction of the I-35 interchange at State Highway 9 and the Lindsey Street exit.
It's an expensive project that ODOT officials say impacts at least 150,000 vehicles each day.
“It's an extremely complicated, involved project,” Terri Angier, with ODOT, said.
The $71-million project will widen I-35 from Lindsey south to the river, rebuild the Lindsey Street bridge over the interstate, and clean up the access to Highway 9.
“Once this is done, really I-35 will be widened from Norman to Oklahoma City. This is the last one,” Angier said.
The project will also expand Ed Noble Parkway along the western side of I-35, connecting Lindsey to Highway 9.
The project will take several months to finish and will impact traffic during the 2015 OU Football season.
“Because it is such a large project there was not a way for it to not impact any season,” Angier said.
ODOT officials say they are hoping the impact will be minimal, but they encourage drivers to go ahead and plan ahead.
“The good news with Norman is there are a lot of ways in and out,” Angier said.
When finished Lindsey will look very much like Main Street over I-35 in Norman does now.
“When the project is done it will be wonderful for not only residents but commuters,” Angier said.
The project could take up to two years; however, the Oklahoma Department of Transportation has offered a huge incentive, up to $2-million dollars if the contractor can finish early.