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I-40 project nearing halfway point

Road crews are working to rebuild the Douglas Blvd./I-40 interchange and widen the freeway. Photo by Kristin Harrison

By Jeff Harrison
Midwest City Beacon

The most expensive road project in state history is moving along.

ODOT is nearing the halfway point on the $170 million project to rebuild the Douglas Blvd./I-40 interchange and widen six miles of freeway.

Construction for the two-year project began in April 2023. It is expected to be completed by spring 2025.

One of the biggest pieces of the project so far included removing the Engle Rd. bridge over I-40. ODOT closed the highway for three days to remove the bridge, utilizing an innovative approach of lifting and relocating the bridge before demolition.

“This process served as a trial run for assembling and relocating the new railroad bridge over I-240, showcasing our commitment to efficient and innovative construction practices,” said Bryce Boyer, ODOT public information manager.

Earlier this month, ODOT opened a new protected turnaround at Town Center Dr. to accommodate westbound I-40 traffic needing to access Industrial Blvd. as well as opened the new westbound I-40 off-ramp to Douglas Blvd.

“This ramp is utilizing new pavement, and drivers will soon be able to drive on new I-40 pavement during the upcoming phase,” Boyer said.

The SE 29th St. and Douglas Blvd. intersection is also now complete from the south.

Crews have completed about 40% of the permanent work on Douglas Blvd., with a quarter of the new Douglas bridge over I-40 already finished. It includes nearly all necessary retaining walls for westbound I-40 and have started construction on the eastbound walls.

Boyer said the pre-construction groundwork such as stabilizing the earth and ensuring proper drainage comes before any new structure. He said they have also installed about 40% of the more than 300 drainage structures required for this project.

In early April, ODOT plans to shift traffic onto the new I-40 lanes on the I-240 bridge, the Anderson bridge, and a temporary roadway from the I-40/I-240 split to Douglas.

“This strategic shift will allow us to rebuild westbound I-40 without disrupting traffic, significantly enhancing productivity on the project,” Boyer said. “Once the shift occurs, our focus will move to the second phase of I-240, Anderson and Douglas bridges.”

The Douglas Blvd. interchange will be reconstructed as a Single-Point Urban Interchange, which will allow traffic to move through the interchange safely and more efficiently with only one set of traffic signals allowing for longer signal cycles. The interchange style is like ones at I-40 and Morgan Rd. and at I-35 and Lindsey St. in Norman.

Additionally, I-40 will be widened to six lanes between Midwest City and the I-240 interchange. This will connect to a previous widening project at Choctaw Rd. in Oklahoma City. Work also will address nine bridges at Douglas Blvd., Westminster Rd., Anderson Rd., Post Rd., the I-240 ramps at the I-40 interchange and the removal of the Engle Rd. bridge over I-40.

The project is partially funded by a $51 million federal grant, which was awarded in June 2021, and work will be done in partnership with the Federal Highway Administration.

The interchange has also been dedicated to former Sen. Jim Inhofe for his commitment to improving the states’ infrastructure and supporting military installations.

2 Comments

  1. Brian Willson on March 30, 2024 at 11:03 am

    Grew up on the east side of S. Douglas Blvd. & the S.E. 44th Street area & may I say that the road construction work is long over due.

  2. Brian Willson on March 30, 2024 at 11:07 am

    My opinion was replied back ( go away scammer) well I beg you pardon you can kiss my Rosie red fat ass !

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