Oklahoma City Crosstown Expressway motorists advised to remain alert

Eastbound motorists on Interstate 40 should use caution driving through the Dallas interchanges, especially if they want to exit to head toward Norman or Edmond. The exits have been changed.
BY MICHAEL MCNUTT mmcnutt@opubco.com Published: August 30, 2011
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photo - Motorist on eastbound I-40 are being funneled to different exits near the construction area at the Dallas, junction in Oklahoma City , Monday, August 29, 2011. Photo by Steve Gooch ORG XMIT: KOD
Motorist on eastbound I-40 are being funneled to different exits near the construction area at the Dallas, junction in Oklahoma City , Monday, August 29, 2011. Photo by Steve Gooch ORG XMIT: KOD

Motorists driving east on the Interstate 40 Crosstown Expressway need to be alert at the Dallas interchange, especially if they want to get off the roadway to head south toward Norman or north toward Edmond.

The southbound I-35 and northbound I-235 exits were changed Monday. Instead of sharing the same ramp, they are now two separate exits.

The changes were made as part of work being done for the new expressway. They come just days ahead of the Labor Day holiday, when motorists are expected to head for the highways for the last three-day weekend of the summer, and before Saturday evening's University of Oklahoma football home opener in Norman.

“As long as they realize there's a lot of construction in the area and to pay particular attention to the signs, they should be fine locating their way around and knowing what exit to take,” said Brenda Perry, a spokeswoman for the state Transportation Department.

They're simple changes, but motorists may end up going in the wrong direction if they don't pay careful attention. Motorists saw the changes for the first time about 5 a.m. Monday.

Those driving in rush-hour traffic may have been caught off guard.

The right lane of the three-lane Interstate 40 Crosstown is now an exit-only lane for southbound I-35.

Eastbound motorists wanting to take the northbound I-235 ramp should get in the center lane of the Crosstown.

After the I-35 South exit, the Crosstown narrows to two lanes; the center lane becomes the right lane and motorists may stay on that to either take I-235 North or continue eastbound on I-40 where the roadway eventually expands to five lanes.

State Transportation Department crews were to paint new markings Monday night to make it clearer for motorists to navigate the exits, Perry said.

The exit signs are temporary ones, not the typical larger green signs.

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