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I-35 reaches milestone

I-35 reaches milestone

The Journal Record

July 15, 2009

NORMAN – Driving through Norman will get a little easier when construction on Interstate 35 reaches a milestone.

The state Department of Transportation said the U.S. Highway 77 exit from southbound I-35 is expected to be open Wednesday.

Transportation officials said crews were expected to remove barrier walls Tuesday night to allow motorists to use the bridge.

Motorists on southbound I-35 will see other improvements this week when the Robinson Street on-ramps and off-ramps are opened by Friday morning.

Construction of the U.S. 77 bridge that carries southbound traffic over northbound I-35 was scheduled to be completed by the end of July, in time for the fall school term. Weather permitting, it will be finished two weeks early.

The improvements are part of a $40 million project to widen the interstate from Indian Hills Road to north of Main Street. Besides additional lanes and the new bridge, the project will include concrete median barriers and overhead lighting. The entire project is expected to be finished in the summer of 2010. Although various ramp closures are still expected, crews plan to keep two lanes in each direction open to traffic during the daytime throughout the project.

About 75,000 vehicles use that stretch of I-35 daily, making the interstate one of the state’s busiest four-lane stretches of highway. At the time it was designed in the 1950s, the interstate was expected to carry 25,000 to 30,000 vehicles daily.

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