“Essentially we’re just adding one lane on each side of the existing bridges,” he said. “It’s a little simpler in scope but it’s still a major project.”
O’Leary said the proximity of the Main Street project to the Canadian River bridge project is about one mile so the two construction zones will really be merged together into one large construction zone.
“We’re doing everything we can to minimize inconvenience,” he said.
The Highway Commission and the City of Norman are working closely with the Oklahoma Department of Transportation to try to minimize as much inconvenience as possible he said.
This project will also take approximately 18 months he said.
While many people may be more concerned about the possible closure of Lindsey Street in the future, O’Leary said they are still about three years out from that portion of the project.
“Lindsey will be the last of all the interchanges to be completed,” he said.
However, since the bridge on Lindsey Street is only one structure, it would be much more feasible to take the whole thing out of service. It wouldn’t be like the Main Street bridge that has two structures, allowing traffic to continue to flow while still under construction.
“That’s one of the challenges ODOT and its design team is facing,” he said. “We’re exploring every opportunity to keep that from happening.”
O’Leary said, of course, they wouldn’t like to have the bridge out of service at all because it will affect citizens and merchants of Norman but they are still several months away from making that decision.