The Norman Transcript

Editorials

April 11, 2014

Let’s toast: Main Street bridge nearly complete

NORMAN — It was January 2013 when crews began knocking down the Main Street bridge over Interstate 35. The timeline on completion has always been this May.

If everything comes together and the weather holds for the next few days, the overpass and interstate exits should open in less than a week. Officials are hoping for a Monday ribbon cutting.

That will be good news for residents and businesses on the west side of the interstate. Some drivers have avoided the area for many months.

The $30 million project creates the second SPUI, or Single Point Urban Interchange.

The first completed one was at I-40 and Morgan Road in Oklahoma City.

A SPUI, as drivers are learning, allows high volumes of traffic to flow safely. It is designed to use space more efficiently. Workers are busy putting up signal lights on the 165-foot “monotube” that was installed Monday evening.

The project includes lighting, landscaping and fencing. The artistic enhancement of the project depicts the Land Run of 1889.

The Main Street project will be the easiest of the three overpasses scheduled for replacement.

The structure was really two bridges, allowing crews to take one down and use the other to keep Main Street open.

That won’t be the case for the State Highway 9 and the Lindsey Street makeovers, where the roads will have to be closed temporarily.

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