The Oklahoma Transportation Department plans to open a new ramp Saturday at one of the busiest interchanges in the state.
The Oklahoma City ramp will carry traffic from eastbound Interstate 44 to southbound Interstate 235. The old ramp has remained open during the construction project.
The opening of the new ramp — nearly three months ahead of schedule — will allow for the reopening of the Western Avenue ramp onto eastbound I-44. That ramp has been closed and traffic detoured during the $9 million construction project.
Motorists will get on the new I-44 ramp farther west and it will connect to I-235 farther south.
This project is part of a major revamping of the 50-year-old interchange. The overall project will cost more than $165 million and won't be finished until 2024, department spokesman Cole Hackett said.
Department officials said the initial design phase for the project began in 1957, when there were fewer than 20,000 vehicles traveling through the area each day. It was built based on a projection of 48,000 vehicles per day by 1975.
Officials estimate that more than 120,000 vehicles pass through the interchange today.