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I-40Crosstown and OKCBoulevard

OKCBLVD1The Oklahoma City Boulevard in August 2019 as the project prepares to officially open

FinalOklahoma CityBoulevardWorkNears Completion

Work began in the mid-1990s to realign and bring the I-40 Crosstown bridge to ground level, which opened to traffic in 2012. Now, the final pieces of construction are about to wrap up complete the new Oklahoma City Boulevard in the old I-40footprint in downtown Oklahoma City.

Serving as the final phase of the I-40 Crosstownreconstruction project, the Oklahoma City Boulevard will improve access to the downtown Oklahoma City Central Business District from the new I-40. The completed Oklahoma City Boulevard will serve as a low-speed city street running through the planned convention center and central park area, connecting on the east end to I-235 and I-40 near Bricktown and on the west end to I-40 near Pennsylvania Ave. and Western Ave. Plans for the new four-lane Boulevard include on-street parking as well as inclusion of features to make it pedestrian and bicycle friendly.

The Oklahoma City Boulevard construction started in 2012 (deconstruction of old I-40) and the Aug. 19, 2019, opening to traffic substantially completes five construction phases.

The OklahomaTransportation Commission awarded Dec. 4, 2017, an up to $27 million project to construct the two remaining middle sections of the Oklahoma City Blvd. The contract was awarded to Allen Contracting Inc. and included incentives for early completion.

These two sections include:

  • Just east of Klein to Walker and a new bridge over Western; and
  • Walker to Shields Blvd./E.K. Gaylord Blvd.

Construction began Feb. 12, 2018, and the street opened to traffic for the first time Aug. 19, 2019. Motorists can expect intermittent lane closures through mid-2020for final installation of traffic signals at Reno Ave., Hudson Ave., Harvey Ave., for final installation of street lights, paving on some additional side streets added to the contract and completion of other amenities including ADA compliant pedestrian crosswalks. The City of Oklahoma City also will have lane closures for the installation of landscaping.

The City of Oklahoma City partnered with ODOT and the Federal Highway Administration, purchasing the right-of-way for the Boulevard and relocating the utilities. Once completed, the 1.6-mile-long, four-laneboulevard will become a city street operated and maintained by the City of Oklahoma City.

Traffic Impacts

  • Work will continue throughmid-2020 on other boulevard items such as street lights, traffic signals, sidewalks near Classen and Sheridan and striping crosswalks.
  • Additional milling and overlays will occur at the request of the city at Reno Ave., Sheridan, Walker, Harvey Ave. and Lee.
  • Improvements made with the construction have caused some city routes and access to change to improve traffic flow and safety. Those changes include:
    • Westbound Oklahoma City Boulevard will not have direct access to Western Ave. or Classen Blvd. Motorists must use Reno Ave. to connect to Western.
    • California Ave. now dead-ends at Classen Blvd.
    • Exchange Ave. can only be accessed from eastbound Reno Ave. Access from westbound Reno Ave. and from Western Ave. is no longer available.
  • Speed limit will be 25 mph along the middle section of the boulevard.

OKC BoulevardConstruction

The anticipated overall cost of the Oklahoma City Boulevard is about $120 million, which includes the connections to the new I-40 alignment at the east and west ends.

The overall construction of the Boulevard and connections to I-40, I-235 and I-35 includes: at an estimated total cost of $120 million to build the new city street. Those phases included:

  • A $9 million project that constructed the west end connection of the Boulevard to I-40 and construction of Boulevard from Pennsylvania Ave. to Western Ave.Work began in January 2013 and completed June 2014.
  • An $8.2 million project to connect I-40 from Pennsylvania Ave. to Western Ave. including on- and off-ramps at Virginia and Klein. Work began August 2013 and completed July 2014.
  • A $27 million project on the east end to connect Lincoln, I-235, I-35 and I-40 to the new Boulevard. Work began in February 2014 and completed in May 2016.
  • The $40 million project that constructed a portion of the Boulevard and connecting it to I-40, I-235, I-35 and Lincoln Blvd./Byers Boathouse District. It included major railroad bridge work. Work began in March 2015 and completed February 2017.
  • An up to $27million project to construct the middle section of the Oklahoma City Boulevard from just east of Klein to Walker and a new bridge over Western Ave.; and from Walker to Shields Blvd./E.K. Gaylord Blvd. Work began February 2018 and is expected to complete September 2019.

Click here to read more about the final projects being awarded.

I-40Crosstown Background

Oklahoma’s three major interstates converge near downtown Oklahoma City with I-35 and I-44 intersecting I-40 at either end of a 4-mile stretch known as the Crosstown. The original Crosstown was built about five blocks north of I-40’s new alignment through downtown Oklahoma City. To move the highway, the Oklahoma Department of Transportation embarked on one of its largest projects since the interstate system was completed in the 1970s.

Completed in 1966, the original three-lane I-40 Crosstown was designed to carry up to 76,000 vehicles daily. By 2005, when ground was broken for the new highway, it routinely carried as many as 125,000 vehicles each day.

TheI-40 Crosstown is designed to carry about 173,000 vehicles daily on five lanes in each direction. A planned multi-lane boulevard offering a connection to downtown Oklahoma City will further increase traffic capacity in the area.

Aesthetics in the project include the SkyDance pedestrian bridge near Robinson Ave. as well as design details on other bridges. Elements have been incorporated into retaining and screen walls that complement architectural aspects of the nearby Little Flower Church.

Last Modified on Nov 01, 2020
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