“They’re supposed to maintain four lanes of traffic,” Sturtz said.
The SPUI style of interchange was selected for I-35 and West Main Street by ODOT and the Federal Highway Administration following an extensive Environmental Assessment process. Norman residents participated in the process for creating this gateway, which will include aesthetic enhancements.
Artistic enhancements at I-35 and Main Street will depict the Land Run of 1889, along with other embellished concrete bridge elements. Other betterments at the exchange include overhead lighting, fencing and sidewalks. Landscaping will be maintained by Norman, and the words “City of Norman” etched in concrete will welcome visitors to the city.
“In an effort to speed this project along, they’re also offering incentives for early completion,” Sturtz said.
The ODOT construction contract allows the contractor to earn an early completion incentive of $15,000 a day with a maximum of 100 days.
“This contractor has already told us that he’s motivated,” Sturtz said. “He’s wanting to make that extra money.”
Four lanes will remain open to traffic on I-35 but there will be temporary lane shifts. The reconfiguration of the ramps for the new Main Street Bridge will require that the cloverleaf ramps are closed for the duration of the project.
All outside ramps will remain open, only closing temporarily to install detours.
The project will involve replacing the existing Main Street bridge and interchange with the SPUI which includes longer on and off ramps at I-35 and a wider Main Street Bridge. The SPUI will allow large volumes of traffic to negotiate the area using a single set of traffic lights mounted at the center of the bridge.
In addition I-35 will be widened for one half mile north and south of Main Street from four lanes to six lanes as well as widening Main Street from four lanes to six lanes where it crosses over I-35.