The highly anticipated metro project to replace six Interstate 40 bridges is set to commence Tuesday.

The six bridges being replaced are located at Sunnylane Road, Southeast 15th Street and Sooner Road, the Oklahoma Department of Transportation said in a press release. All of these bridges have required significant maintenance and multiple emergency repairs to keep traffic moving along the growing corridor between the Interstate 35/Fort Smith Junction and Tinker Air Force Base.

The bridges need to be replaced for multiple reasons, ODOT Public Information Manager Lisa Shearer-Salim said.

“The I-40 bridges in this area have essentially reached the end of their life span,” Shearer-Salim said. “Five of the six are structurally deficient, and the sixth bridge is [functionally] obsolete, meaning it’s not wide enough or high enough. There’s different variables that make these bridges functionally obsolete. So, essentially these bridges have reached the end of their lifespan, and it’s time to upgrade them.”

The project is scheduled to be completed in spring 2023, the press release said. Until then, there will be multiple closures along the freeway.

“The nearly $80 million bridge replacement project between Sunnylane Road (Mile Marker 155A) and Hudiburg Drive (Mile Marker 156B) starts Tuesday, Sept. 8,” the department said. “Eastbound I-40 will be narrowed [to] two lanes in this area, with intermittent ramp closures at Sunnylane Road, Southeast 15th Street and Sooner Road. Motorists also can expect I-40 to be narrowed to one lane at times on nights and weekends, as needed, as well as significant ramp closures during the project.”

In addition, there will be a year's worth of construction to the southwest side of Oklahoma City, the release said.

“Beginning Tuesday, crews will place signs, cones and barrels along I-44 between I-40 and Southwest 74th Street and on State Highway 152/Airport Road near I-44 in preparation for two related rehabilitation projects,” the organization said in the release.

The first of these projects will affect traffic leaving Will Rogers World Airport soon. On Sept. 21, the eastbound State Highway 152/Airport Road ramp to eastbound I-44 north is set to close for one month, the press release said.

“This is the primary ramp for traffic leaving the airport to go toward I-40 and downtown Oklahoma City via I-44 and also can impact area businesses,” the press release said.

For more information regarding detours and closures, visit ODOT’s website.

Reese Gorman

366-3532

Follow me @reeseg_3

rgorman@normantranscript.com

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Reese Gorman covers elections, local politics and the COVID-19 pandemic for The Norman Transcript. He started as an intern in May of 2020 and transitioned into his current position as a staff writer in August of 2020.