OKLAHOMA CITY — The Westbound lanes of the new I-40 Crosstown opened this past Sunday, taking traffic off of the old Crosstown for good. For nearly 50 years the old I-40 Crosstown Bridge was the main way to get across the metro.
At its height it carried nearly 125,000 cars a day.
There are a lot of rumors as to what happens next for the old interstate.
Jessica, a metro resident, says, “I heard something about blowing up the bridge for a Batman movie.”
Terri Angier, with the Oklahoma Department of Transportation, says, “There is no way we would ever demolish a structure like that right in the middle of downtown.”
The truth is it being deconstructed, taken down piece-by-piece.
Work on the eastern sides is in progress; each beam is being removed.
Around 1,500 of them will be repurposed, used on county bridges that need repair.
The somewhat hole -filled, patchwork quilt of road will be slowly broken apart.
It’s expected to take about nine months and may come with a few traffic delays.
Angier says, “Up to this point work wasn’t what they saw but now it’s going to begin and we have a lot to do.”
ODOT is planning a special day to allow those who wish to say goodbye to the old Crosstown a chance to one last time drive or even walk on the roadway.
Angier says, “As you are going 60 miles per hour, sometimes it’s hard to see all the problems. This way you will get a firsthand look at it.”
Construction vehicles are now the only traffic the old interstate sees.
Not all of it will be taken down, a portion will be redone and will eventually be connected with the city’s planned downtown boulevard, improving access to downtown.