Main Street, however, will remain open, during construction and will be six-lanes when complete. Contractors have until March of 2014 to be finished but a $15,000 per day incentive may push them ahead on the $30 million project.
“If everything goes perfect, they could be done by December,” O’Leary said.
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In the meantime, drivers who by 2018 will have endured highway widening and work on 8 bridges in 6.5 miles, should start learning to navigate a Single Point Urban Interchange (SPUI). It will be the intersection design at Main Street and Lindsey Street. One important, three-phase signal light, on top of the intersection, will control all traffic. Surprisingly, they are safer than conventional cloverleafs.
The state’s first SPUI is at I-40 and Morgan Road in Oklahoma City. The second will be on Main Street and the third on Lindsey Street. Both bridges, as well as the Highway 9 work, will have artistic themes. Main Street’s theme is the Land Run of 1889 and Lindsey Street will be the University of Oklahoma.
Main Street’s will have landscaping and a “City of Norman” welcome sign.
“This is Main Street USA,” said O’Leary. “If we are going to make an impression, this is the place to do it.”