Who’s ready for another two years of saying “We don’t really need to go to Edmond anyway.”
Yesterday, Phase #937 of the I-235 / I-44 Interchange expansion officially started. Here are details via NewsOK:
The honeymoon is about over for Interstate 235 commuters who have been enjoying a five-month respite from construction on the main thoroughfare that links Edmond and Oklahoma City.
Starting [March 25], construction crews will begin work on a project to remake the I-235/I-44 interchange.
Use of alternate routes throughout the two-year construction period is highly recommended, said Terri Angier, state Transportation Department spokeswoman.
The project, dubbed “Off Broadway” by state transportation officials, is part of a more than decadelong modernization effort to widen I-235/Broadway Extension up to eight lanes from Edmond to downtown Oklahoma City.
“This is likely to be the most disruptive to traffic of any other project in the state,” Angier said. “The project will eliminate the last remaining bottleneck for traffic by widening I-235 over I-44 and it will be the first four-level interchange built on the state highway system in Oklahoma.”
Yes, we have finally been gifted by the Highway Construction Gods the opportunity to modernize an archaic, poorly designed roadway from the days of yore. Loops and lanes built for Tin Lizzies and 1912 Caddy’s are finally being addressed and brought up to modern standards!
But that’s not true at all.
Those horrific clover-leaf interchanges and the blind merges of death are younger than Facebook and Twitter, combined. Only 30 years old and I-235 already requires major, corrective surgery to fix all the shit they did wrong the first time. And we aren’t talking botox and boob jobs either. We ripped out its guts and started over; moving major structures, widening the roadway, and altering the layout entirely. Everyone remembers the heart-stopping, inch-an-hour relocation of the railway bridge from last year, right?
Mind you the Federal Interstate system was only started in 1956. Our favorite Senator, Jim Inhofe, was born way back in 1934 to give some perspective on just how young the arteries of Oklahoma travel are. (Or how old our elected official is. Six of one, half a dozen of another.) I-235 didn’t break ground until 1976 in a vague attempt to legitimize Edmond. Essentially, Oklahoma DOT took thirteen years to build the 5 and some miles of the interstate spur, lived with it for about a decade and then said, “Fuck it. Let’s do it again.”
The real question here is; if they didn’t do it right this first time what in Athena’s all-holy name makes us think it’s gonna be better this time? At least I know I’ll have something to write about in 10 years, when we redo it again.