As one of the most popular roadways in the Oklahoma City metro area, the Broadway Extension/Centennial Expressway normally has times when motorists should expect heavy traffic.
Some mornings during rush hour, the southbound traffic on the three-mile stretch of the extension from Britton Road toward the downtown area flows deceptively smoothly.
But on other days, the flow moves at a considerably slower rate. And then, there are those days when it is at a crawl, with all lanes stacked up nearly the entire distance.
Believe it or not, it's progress. Crews are rebuilding the interchange that will smooth traffic flow in four directions. It will be done in phases. But the first one is nearing completion.
How many more months before parts of the southbound Interstate 235/westbound I-44 pathway are available? For example, is the current plan to wait until that entire phase is finished to open up some lanes and alleviate the extremely short merging area at the bottom of the ramp? Those lanes appear as if the only thing left to complete on them is road striping and removal of temporary barriers. The project is something to be proud of already, by the way! Almost daily — at least more than once a week — the progress is very visible.
It's extremely visible, Russell, from the dirt work to the new roadway, it's all shaping up nicely.
Cole Hackett, with the state Transportation Department, says here's what you can expect:
“The project to replace the southbound I-235/Broadway Extension ramp to westbound I-44 is progressing well and is on schedule to be completed in mid-July,” he says.
“Currently, crews are constructing the retaining walls and paving on the 63rd Street ramp and on the I-44 mainline where the new ramp will tie in. The remaining construction will complete the NW 63 ramp to southbound Broadway Extension and connect the new I-235 ramp to I-44 near Western Avenue.
“The 63rd Street ramp to southbound I-235/Broadway Extension that is currently closed and the new lanes on westbound I-44, which are currently narrowed, will all open at the project's completion in mid-July.”
So if you're traveling at a snail's pace through this area, thanks to a heavy traffic flow, just enjoy the view. It won't be long until you'll have a better route.
By the way ...
Remember that there are lots of work crew members building that new road. Watch out for them and obey all the signs.
This is only one part of the project to rebuild the interchange. So be prepared for more work ahead.
Enjoy your week and drive safely.