View Full Version : Urgency of I-240/I-35 Interchange Rebulid



SoonerDave
08-04-2008, 08:11 AM
I hope I will be forgiven starting a new, distinct thread on this, because I will readily acknowledge this topic has come up tangentially in some other threads. I am hoping I don't push the etiquette envelope too far by pushing this to a dedicated thread, because I've opted (to the extent one little nobody can) to make this a pet project.

The importance of this interchange project must be escalated. I'm hoping some of you who frequent this interchange, whether as a casual driver or daily commuter, might be willing to "sign on" to the thread in concurrence.

My current understanding is that the project is probably five or more years away, and then probably a two-year project once started. I realize there may be insurmountable practical obstacles to accelerating that schedule, and maybe I'm stupid for suggesting so (among myriad other possible justifications :) ), but I am tired of driving this stretch of highway on nearly a daily basis and regularly seeing some horrific, multi-car, body and/or car-mangling collision. The only way this is going to get resolved is to get that interchange built, and bult ASAP.

I am hoping to discover contacts at the state department of transportation (or whomever else might be willing to listen) to get this area even more vividly in the sites of those who plan and implement such projects. Maybe the effort ultimately amounts to nothing more than a polite, professional letter to a director or congressman, or a letter to the editor, or a blog, maybe all of the above, but I think we must try. I fully realize the crosstown rebuild is "the" high-profile interstate project in OKC over the next several years, and that project is overdue, but this interchange is becoming almost if not more deadly.

I don't like inflammatory adjectives like "deadly" and waving an alarmist tone, but I'm also weary of seeing these accidents at this interchange. I think this project has to be put on someone's radar and given [I]some{/i] kind of push. Maybe the effort will be for naught, but surely it won't be accelerated if no one at least tries to get the attention of those who might be able to make a difference.

SoonerDave

proud2Bsooner
08-04-2008, 08:33 AM
I'm with you. There are daily accidents there. I don't think that is an exaggeration.

The issue, IMO, is that the exit that allows people to go from eastbound I-240 to southbound I-35. For the last year and a half, maybe two years, they have had it so that this exit has to yield to drivers on the southbound interchange. You used to be able to go straight to I-35 from I-240 without having to stop, slow down, or yield.

I emailed ODOT when they made the change, and I got a response from an engineer (I was surprised by that). His response was that they changed the exit because truckers on the southbound interchange can't see to yield...they have to look way back to their northwest to see if a car is coming. But the problem that this created is that the exit from I-240 backs up all the way to Shields. This area is very bad for those stuck in the Norman exit lane needing to go eastbound on I-240.

The email basically said that they agree that it is horrible, and they agreed with my assessment, but we would have to wait until the new interchange is built.

BoulderSooner
08-04-2008, 08:40 AM
100% agree with you

metro
08-04-2008, 08:47 AM
Sounds good to me. Keep pushing even though I'm not a regular driver in this area, it is longggggg overdue. My guess is that ODOT or the state doesn't have the funds. We don't even have a small fraction of the funds Texas uses on their roads and bridges, when they seem to put tons of them up overnight, when it takes us decades to get one major project going. Keep writing your politicians and urge them to keep fighting for things like this and to try harder to secure federal dollars, we all know Inhofe and Istook sure didn't do much on this front. Istook was too busy sending our money to Utah.

soonerfever
08-04-2008, 08:49 AM
While I agree with you 100% that this needs to get done ASAP I wouldn't plan on it happening soon. I read an AP article the other day talking about the Minneapolis bridge collapse. They did a state by state study of all the bridges needing to be replaced and the progress of the rebuilds. Oklahoma ranked in the bottom three at 15%. The article said that the worst and heaviest traveled bridge is being replaced as we speak, I-40 Crosstown. They said that this project was so huge and costly that it is affecting all other trasportation projects. I have since thrown the paper away but I believe they actually interviewed someone from ODOT. While I could be wrong about future plans I am probably not going to get to excited about seeing much done until the Crosstown gets completed.

Jacob_Daddy
08-04-2008, 08:50 AM
So do I, in fact my brother in law would frequent the interchange since he lives near I-240 and Sooner, but goes around the north side of Crossroads Mall to avoid it. It may have been well designed for 25 years ago, but we have so many more cars on the road now, and people are driving so much faster. It defintely needs to be rebuilt quickly.

bombermwc
08-04-2008, 08:50 AM
And now with Asphalt being so high, the costs will be even higher. Granted the interchanges don't have much asphalt to them, but every little bit is an excuse for someone to delay.

OKCMallen
08-04-2008, 08:54 AM
agreed. Pretty dangerous.

OKCTalker
08-04-2008, 08:57 AM
My "pucker factor" goes way up when going from eastbound I-240 to southbound I-35. Traffic is almost always backed up and drivers are consistently braking late and running onto the shoulder.

Oh GAWD the Smell!
08-04-2008, 09:30 AM
Sign me up man. I have to hit that intersection all the time (I live east of there along 240).

Half the time, I'll exit Eastern when traveling westbound 240, and go a little north to 59th...Then go over to I-35 instead of dealing with that mousetrap intersection.

JWil
08-04-2008, 10:50 AM
While I agree with you 100% that this needs to get done ASAP I wouldn't plan on it happening soon. I read an AP article the other day talking about the Minneapolis bridge collapse. They did a state by state study of all the bridges needing to be replaced and the progress of the rebuilds. Oklahoma ranked in the bottom three at 15%. The article said that the worst and heaviest traveled bridge is being replaced as we speak, I-40 Crosstown. They said that this project was so huge and costly that it is affecting all other trasportation projects. I have since thrown the paper away but I believe they actually interviewed someone from ODOT. While I could be wrong about future plans I am probably not going to get to excited about seeing much done until the Crosstown gets completed.

Yeah, nothing with the Southside junction will get done until the Crosstown is finished. Hence the long wait.

ssandedoc
08-04-2008, 12:44 PM
I agree something needs to be done here and ASAP.

swilki
08-04-2008, 03:05 PM
agreed. this intersection is horrible. anyone how any idea of what the proposed solution is?

ShiroiHikari
08-04-2008, 03:19 PM
I'm with you. There are daily accidents there. I don't think that is an exaggeration.

The issue, IMO, is that the exit that allows people to go from eastbound I-240 to southbound I-35. For the last year and a half, maybe two years, they have had it so that this exit has to yield to drivers on the southbound interchange. You used to be able to go straight to I-35 from I-240 without having to stop, slow down, or yield.

I emailed ODOT when they made the change, and I got a response from an engineer (I was surprised by that). His response was that they changed the exit because truckers on the southbound interchange can't see to yield...they have to look way back to their northwest to see if a car is coming. But the problem that this created is that the exit from I-240 backs up all the way to Shields. This area is very bad for those stuck in the Norman exit lane needing to go eastbound on I-240.

The email basically said that they agree that it is horrible, and they agreed with my assessment, but we would have to wait until the new interchange is built.

Quoted for emphasis. This, in my opinion, is the most dangerous spot on OKC highways. Every time I go that way I'm scared I'm going to get crashed into and die.

Why don't they change who has to yield? Why do the people coming from 240 have to yield? They should make the people coming from the other way yield or stop or something. Do you all think that would help? Because getting smashed into from behind by people going 70 MPH sounds like a bad idea to me.

jbrown84
08-04-2008, 03:22 PM
It's a terrible design. It doesn't work for either direction to have to yield.

JWil
08-04-2008, 11:08 PM
What they need to do is this:

-- Shut down the current entrance ramp from Shields to I-240 East
-- Shut down the current exit from I-240 E to Shields
-- Create an entrance ramp from the service road between Santa Fe and Shields
-- Use the current exit from I-240 E to Santa Fe into a split Santa Fe/Shields exit

Yes, this would erase the option of Shields to I-240, but the fact is Shields just broke off from I-35 a mile or two southbound. Just let them go to the other side and use a Texas Turnaround or something. In the grand scheme, closing that entrance would solve a TON of problems. Would it suck for those who need it? Yeah, but there are so many entrances/exits all right there just to the west that it's not the end of the world. And if you're on I-240, you'd still have access to Shields, you'd just have to exit at Santa Fe and use the Frontage Road. And if you need to get on I-35 from Shields, then follow that Frontage around to SE 82nd St. and get on there. (As an example, think about how you can't get on I-44 West (runs south) from NW 39th Expressway/Rt. 66 East anymore.

Seems like the best and quickest option at this point. Then look at re-opening it later.

plmccordj
08-05-2008, 04:15 AM
I have seen the renderings and it looks like the same old stuff. I am usually an advocate of using local companies to do projects but I have noticed a pattern. The construction never fixes problems. Instead of making the necessary changes to eliminate cloverleafs and on ramps merging right next to the exits they just rebuild the same thing. In most cities, they standardized by making all exits on the right and make flyovers to accomplish this. One of the biggest complaints about Oklahoma City I hear from out of town truck drivers is that we have exits on the left and when we do have them on the right, we always put an on ramp about 100 yards away from an off ramp. Maybe I am complaining too much but those things are so irritating. I-240&I-35, and the I-44&I235 interchanges must be the worst designed interchanges in America. Just this once I say hire an out of state company to build it so the locals will see how it is supposed to be and the local companies may get a clue how an interchanges is supposed to be.

Bobby821
08-05-2008, 06:06 AM
NOPE, I don't want the interchange changed one bit ever. This interchange has been like this my whole life. I DO NOT want them changeing it or taking away more of our land to build a road or anything else for that matter!! Leave it alone and I hope it stays even years away if not more...

Martin
08-05-2008, 06:23 AM
nope, i don't want the interchange changed one bit ever. this interchange has been like this my whole life. i do not want them changeing it or taking away more of our land to build a road or anything else for that matter!! leave it alone and i hope it stays even years away if not more...

Eux_bzpJHiY

-M

CuatrodeMayo
08-05-2008, 08:41 AM
NOPE, I don't want the interchange changed one bit ever. This interchange has been like this my whole life. I DO NOT want them changeing it or taking away more of our land to build a road or anything else for that matter!! Leave it alone and I hope it stays even years away if not more...


Troll.

Bobby821
08-05-2008, 08:59 AM
For the flippin last time I am NOT a Troll, can I not have an opinion about matters that is not in with the rest of the Click. I for one do not see an issue with the interchange it has been like this my entire life and i do not see any reason for changing it. If people would not be morons and would slow down and pay attention a lot if wrecks would not happen. Plain and simple as that !!

SeinfeldBlock
08-05-2008, 10:41 AM
IMO, clovers do not work. Shift down, floor it, shift fast.

Look at 44/235. That's a joke, too.

sgt. pepper
08-05-2008, 10:47 AM
clovers do not work.
amen amen and amen!!


Look at 44/235---that is an ultimate joke, too.
i think this interchange is more in need than 240/35. it is also on the board. does anybody know when this is suppose to get started?

sgt. pepper
08-05-2008, 10:49 AM
and i think the best designed interchange in the city is 44/40...no clovers and traffic runs smooth.

Bobby821
08-05-2008, 11:07 AM
I Love clovers and they look neat from the air too.

NativeOkie
08-05-2008, 11:24 AM
Does any one know the mortality rate at the interchange?
Have an investigative reporter 4,5,9, do story on the danger and interview someone who lost a loved one there.
Sadly that is what moves the wheels of change. (pardon the pun)
Where does this rank as the cities most dangerous intersections?
How much valuable police, Ambulance, and trooper time is being used to clear accidents?
Has there been any suits filed against the city or DOT?

BradR
08-05-2008, 11:28 AM
i drive it every week, it sucks but you get used to it. i just wish most people would understand how a yield sign works and how to accelerate, that would solve a lot of problems

Insider
08-05-2008, 11:30 AM
The I-235/I-44 interchange is going to be rebuilt also. Last I heard, they are going to build the bridges between the current I-235 construction and I-44 next, then rebuild the interchange using only fly-overs (no room for clovers). Granted, this is still a few years and MANY, MANY headaches away, but it is in the works.

:ou

Bobby821
08-05-2008, 11:31 AM
Does any one know the mortality rate at the interchange?
Have an investigative reporter 4,5,9, do story on the danger and interview someone who lost a loved one there.
Sadly that is what moves the wheels of change. (pardon the pun)
Where does this rank as the cities most dangerous intersections?
How much valuable police, Ambulance, and trooper time is being used to clear accidents?
Has there been any suits filed against the city or DOT?

Again you can only place so much blame on the city/county/state for this when in all reality if the idiots would slow the hell down and enter the ramp at the POSTED speed and pay ATTENTION to there surroundings then i am sure there would be no more wrecks at the interchange as i have driven this interchange many times in my yrs of driving obeying the signs and paying attention to my driving and have never had any problems with the cloverleaf in any direction mind you. SO this would be my stand on it if someone came to me wanting it changed.. Gentleman

NativeOkie
08-05-2008, 11:36 AM
Not attacking your stellar driving record sir.
I am just offering advice as to how to jumpstart a project politically.
From past experience.
Not blaming the city or state.

jbrown84
08-05-2008, 12:23 PM
I for one do not see an issue with the interchange it has been like this my entire life and i do not see any reason for changing it.

Change is good...

soonerliberal
08-05-2008, 03:32 PM
I for one do not see an issue with the interchange it has been like this my entire life and i do not see any reason for changing it. If people would not be morons and would slow down and pay attention a lot if wrecks would not happen. Plain and simple as that !!

Yeah... except the traffic count has likely TRIPLED at the intersection in your lifetime. People irresponsibly slowing down when they shouldn't be are the exact cause of many of the wrecks.

bretthexum
08-05-2008, 03:35 PM
I agree with both. I agree the interchange sucks, but it wouldn't be half as bad if people would pay attention and learn how to drive.

Dave Cook
08-05-2008, 04:24 PM
According to newsok.......

Accidents reported on Oklahoma City-area roads

From Staff Reports
At 5 p.m., two accidents have been reported:

Interstate 40 westbound at S Robinson Avenue

Interstate 240 eastbound at the Interstate 35 junction

OUman
08-05-2008, 05:09 PM
You know, I'm not defending Bobby821's entire view on this subject, I understand the need for a complete re-build of the interchange and the sooner the better, but some people drive like they own the road, like what the heck are yield signs. If people just simply slowed down for oncoming cars when THEY have the yield sign (as they should, but they're always on their high-horses) I can guarantee accidents at such intersections would drop by half. But instead of slowing down, I've seen many drivers trying to force themselves onto the highway/roadway, without regard for the other drivers. Another notorious area I've seen this happen on a daily basis is the exit that allows drivers coming from I-35 southbound to Main Street in Norman, they act like there's no yield sign in existence for them, I've seen some drivers come off that exit like they're in a race, crossing three or four lanes of traffic at their own will. Again, the I-35/I-240 case is more of a special case and obviously has become outdated, but in general, the yield sign obviously means little to nothing for most drivers.

Toadrax
08-05-2008, 05:37 PM
I like the intersection how it is.

Of course, I am evil and think accidents are cool....

OKCisOK4me
08-05-2008, 06:35 PM
The I-235/I-44 interchange is going to be rebuilt also. Last I heard, they are going to build the bridges between the current I-235 construction and I-44 next, then rebuild the interchange using only fly-overs (no room for clovers). Granted, this is still a few years and MANY, MANY headaches away, but it is in the works.

:ou

Right now, you're looking at Memorial/Kelly/Broadway interchange & NW 36th Street interchange of I-235 being worked on. Next will be NW 50th Street interchange. After those are all complete, then they will wreak havoc with I-44/I-235. This was the latest rendering I saw for that interchange:

Notice that it still has the South to Eastbound & West to Southbound clovers in use. If this has changed, I'll be gracious!

http://i144.photobucket.com/albums/r170/OkStateBBall78/l5transbrdg-i44i235-big.jpg

Oh, and for those that are directional--view is looking southbound from an aerial view over NW 63rd Street area.

SeinfeldBlock
08-05-2008, 08:21 PM
The rendering looks like a huge improvement--except when someone is driving south-235 to east-44!! That piles up in the morning rush hour....

SeinfeldBlock
08-05-2008, 08:23 PM
i drive it every week, it sucks but you get used to it. i just wish most people would understand how a yield sign works and how to accelerate, that would solve a lot of problems

Sometimes one of my cars doesn't shift fast enough from 3rd to 1st and I have a tough time getting going. I just avoid it now, but I do sometimes try to consider that as their problem. :-) Even though it's usually not..... lol

JWil
08-05-2008, 08:50 PM
I can't believe they're going to go to all that trouble at I-44/235 and still leave two clovers. Amazing.

Also, the diamond interchanges at I-40/44 are okay, but they come off of or bleed onto fast lanes, which I believe is a no-no as well. Eventually that will have to change. But with how those bridges are there, that will be a nightmare.

jbrown84
08-05-2008, 09:59 PM
Yeah I-44 & I-40 is a mess as well.

Bobby821
08-06-2008, 05:56 AM
Not attacking your stellar driving record sir.
I am just offering advice as to how to jumpstart a project politically.
From past experience.
Not blaming the city or state.

and I will be doing everything i can to get the interchange stopped.

Bobby821
08-06-2008, 05:57 AM
Change is good...

I disagree with you

Bobby821
08-06-2008, 05:58 AM
Yeah... except the traffic count has likely TRIPLED at the intersection in your lifetime. People irresponsibly slowing down when they shouldn't be are the exact cause of many of the wrecks.

not likely on the increase and one simple word for the wrecks PAY ATTENTION !!!!

Bobby821
08-06-2008, 06:01 AM
You know, I'm not defending Bobby821's entire view on this subject, I understand the need for a complete re-build of the interchange and the sooner the better, but some people drive like they own the road, like what the heck are yield signs. If people just simply slowed down for oncoming cars when THEY have the yield sign (as they should, but they're always on their high-horses) I can guarantee accidents at such intersections would drop by half. But instead of slowing down, I've seen many drivers trying to force themselves onto the highway/roadway, without regard for the other drivers. Another notorious area I've seen this happen on a daily basis is the exit that allows drivers coming from I-35 southbound to Main Street in Norman, they act like there's no yield sign in existence for them, I've seen some drivers come off that exit like they're in a race, crossing three or four lanes of traffic at their own will. Again, the I-35/I-240 case is more of a special case and obviously has become outdated, but in general, the yield sign obviously means little to nothing for most drivers.

It is not outdated by any means..

Bobby821
08-06-2008, 06:05 AM
I can't believe they're going to go to all that trouble at I-44/235 and still leave two clovers. Amazing.

Also, the diamond interchanges at I-40/44 are okay, but they come off of or bleed onto fast lanes, which I believe is a no-no as well. Eventually that will have to change. But with how those bridges are there, that will be a nightmare.

Clovers arent bad maybe you should try driving them sometime.

swilki
08-06-2008, 08:04 AM
I can't believe they're going to go to all that trouble at I-44/235 and still leave two clovers. Amazing.

If you look at the rendering, the two clovers spill into a separate entrance exit lane. So the traffic entering and exiting will be completely removed from the regular flow of traffic. If this is a cheaper solution (which I suspect it is) then they should keep them. It looks like they will work.

Martin
08-06-2008, 08:37 AM
if you look at the rendering, the two clovers spill into a separate entrance exit lane. so the traffic entering and exiting will be completely removed from the regular flow of traffic. if this is a cheaper solution (which i suspect it is) then they should keep them. it looks like they will work.

the clovers with separate entrance/exit lane are part of the current configuration. i can tell you from personal experience that going i-44 westbound to i-235 southbound can, on occasion, be quite difficult. vehicles don't have much time to gain speed coming out of the clover. couple that with the southbound 235 traffic trying to get into that same lane to get onto eastbound 44... everybody's trying to swap lanes in a short distance... it just doesn't work well with larger traffic volumes.

-M

venture
08-06-2008, 09:27 AM
Except for the responses from the troll, I agree with most here. The biggest issue with the I-240/I-35 interchange was the change of who yeilds. Since that happened, you get the major backups on I-240. The quick fix?

Get the lane of traffic that is from I-240 west to I-35 south to merge before the I-240 east to I-35 south traffic enters the picture. It'll mean taking out the barrier in place now, but no reason that traffic couldn't merge in time. Then allow the I-240 west to I-35 traffic to flow like it does now, which is to its own lane which eventually becomes an exit only.

Ideally this would be the quick short term fix. However, people do have to slow down and realize...that lane is going to back up. When I commuted that way every day, I would just forget 35 south and take Sooner home. However, every day...two cars or more would be mixed together. Yes drivers need to drive safer, but sometimes people do need to be managed like children.

Great example...my company does online computer products. People keep buying $25 media only CD kits for software. These don't include licenses or any rights to the software, they are just CDs with the software on it for those that do volume licensing in bulk. The product description and everything states this, but people keep ordering the wrong thing. Should we just sit back and blame people for not reading and expect them to do better? Sure that would be nice, but the chargebacks ($25 fees each) would kill us. The headaches to deal with these people causes more stress than it should. So we simply go in an work to deactivate each product...over 500 of them, each time our catalog updates.

The point...you can wish that humanity would use common sense and think for itself...but we aren't in that type of world. People are stupid and lazy and can't think for themselves. So for the overall safety of the rest of us out there, change the traffic flows and make it a non-issue.

Fighting the changes is just being stubborn and stupid with no base cause for it. If thats the kind of person some people want to be, then go be a NIBMY in some snooty neighborhood in New York or California and blend in with the rest. Or move to the rust belt and join the others there that would rather let their cities die instead of change.

jbrown84
08-06-2008, 09:51 AM
and I will be doing everything i can to get the interchange stopped.

You are more ridiculous than Tom Elmore.


one simple word for the wrecks PAY ATTENTION !!!!

Sure, but you will never get people to pay attention, so what do you say to the people that are killed in wrecks? "Sorry, I have too many fond memories of that interchange. You should of been paying attention. Oh, you were--it was the other guy who wasn't? Oh, well, sorry, I just want to keep everything the way it is."

OKCDrummer77
08-06-2008, 04:42 PM
and I will be doing everything i can to get the interchange stopped.

If by "everything" you mean the reasons you've posted here (it's been that way all your life, cloverleafs are pretty, people need to pay attention), you're not going to make much noise. You're going to need a LOT more than that to even have a .00001% chance of blocking this re-build.