View Full Version : I-235 / I-44 Interchange



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jn1780
03-03-2018, 09:48 PM
It doesn't really seem like that much of an opportunity was lost making not making the railroad bridge double track. The truss bridge would have to be designed to carry two trains at one time which would certainly increase the cost. Looking at the alignment it wouldn't be that hard to building an identical truss bridge just to the south of the existing one. There is more redundancy keeping two tracks separate. It may actually be cheaper too not having to engineer one single bridge to carry two trains.

BoulderSooner
03-04-2018, 07:17 AM
It doesn't really seem like that much of an opportunity was lost making not making the railroad bridge double track. The truss bridge would have to be designed to carry two trains at one time which would certainly increase the cost. Looking at the alignment it wouldn't be that hard to building an identical truss bridge just to the south of the existing one. There is more redundancy keeping two tracks separate. It may actually be cheaper too not having to engineer one single bridge to carry two trains.

If they are building the highway with enough room to add a second bridge

Pete
03-04-2018, 10:12 AM
Just took this (about 10AM Sunday 3/4/18):

http://www.okctalk.com/images/pete/235030418a.jpg

hipsterdoofus
03-04-2018, 11:28 AM
Thanks for the pictures, Pete! Always nice to get a view from above to make more sense of things.

catch22
03-04-2018, 12:13 PM
Are they going to put up both spans this weekend? The east side doesn't look ready for the beams?

Also, will they be able to install the road deck with traffic passing under or are there going to have to be more closures for that?

jn1780
03-04-2018, 01:00 PM
If they are building the highway with enough room to add a second bridge

That s true. I was just noticing that the 50th street bridge span over the old railroad alignment is the same type over the new alignment. The beams interlocked to form a bridge deck. Not sure the reasoning for this and not go for a traditional like they did the first section.

HangryHippo
03-04-2018, 02:22 PM
Does the new railroad bridge seem low to anyone else?

jn1780
03-04-2018, 02:46 PM
Does the new railroad bridge seem low to anyone else?

It is low, but the final road is going to be lower. You can see the new roadway to the south of the old railway bridge for an idea on how much lower it will be.

Pete
03-05-2018, 05:51 AM
They reopened I-235 this early this morning.

I'll have to get out there this week with my drone to see the progress they made.

Still planning for a closure this weekend to remove the old RR bridge.

Pete
03-06-2018, 09:27 AM
Just announced that they will not close I-235 this weekend as they still need some time to get the old railroad bridge ready for removal.

Now looks like early April.

jn1780
03-06-2018, 10:18 AM
Their already digging away at the approaches and drilling on the east side to finish the retaining wall. So the bridge being there isn't stopping progress.

Pete
03-12-2018, 02:59 PM
This was an update ODOT gave to City Council in October 2016.

http://www.okctalk.com/images/pete/235031215.jpg

catch22
03-12-2018, 03:02 PM
That is because of ODOT budget cuts, correct?

I believe the actual construction is on-schedule according to the contract?

OkiePoke
03-12-2018, 03:20 PM
Were those dates completion dates? Start, award?

Pete
03-12-2018, 03:28 PM
Sorry, looks like those are start dates. They didn't bother to include end dates.

jn1780
03-13-2018, 06:40 AM
The latest diagram has the start dates removed so I don't see them starting the next phase this year.

jn1780
03-13-2018, 06:41 AM
That is because of ODOT budget cuts, correct?

I believe the actual construction is on-schedule according to the contract?

Probably head of schedule according to the contract since they give out incentives to finish early.

GreenSooner
03-19-2018, 09:46 PM
It doesn't really seem like that much of an opportunity was lost making not making the railroad bridge double track. The truss bridge would have to be designed to carry two trains at one time which would certainly increase the cost. Looking at the alignment it wouldn't be that hard to building an identical truss bridge just to the south of the existing one. There is more redundancy keeping two tracks separate. It may actually be cheaper too not having to engineer one single bridge to carry two trains.

The second problem I see is that they had to build the first pair of bridges north of 50th Street and drag them south into position. Now that 50th Street is back in place, that option isn't open.

There should be enough room over the highway to install a second truss bridge, unless the median is drastically, i.e., deliberately narrowed down southwest of the new span such that there isn't room for the support.

The first problem is ODOT, which thinks of themselves as OK Department of Highways, aka ODOH, a fully-owned subsidiary of the Asphalt Pavers, and Repavers, and Repavers Association. I don't trust them for a minute to have designed this to allow for future transit needs. However, given the political will, if we lived without 50th Street for this long for the improved highway, we can tear it down again to bring in a new pair of railroad bridges.

We would need some serious political will anyway to get BNSF to even come to the table to discuss commuter rail along their right-of-way between downtown Edmond and Brooks Street in Norman. It would require adding a track everywhere along that route.

jn1780
03-19-2018, 11:22 PM
The second problem I see is that they had to build the first pair of bridges north of 50th Street and drag them south into position. Now that 50th Street is back in place, that option isn't open.

There should be enough room over the highway to install a second truss bridge, unless the median is drastically, i.e., deliberately narrowed down southwest of the new span such that there isn't room for the support.

The first problem is ODOT, which thinks of themselves as OK Department of Highways, aka ODOH, a fully-owned subsidiary of the Asphalt Pavers, and Repavers, and Repavers Association. I don't trust them for a minute to have designed this to allow for future transit needs. However, given the political will, if we lived without 50th Street for this long for the improved highway, we can tear it down again to bring in a new pair of railroad bridges.

We would need some serious political will anyway to get BNSF to even come to the table to discuss commuter rail along their right-of-way between downtown Edmond and Brooks Street in Norman. It would require adding a track everywhere along that route.

Not having the staging area isn't really a problem at all if there was money and political will power to build a second bridge. There is no need to tear down 50th street bridge again to make it happen. I'm pretty sure there is room to build at least one span at a time on the southeast side. Even if there wasn't they can make more room to build a temporary pad by narrowing lanes down on the newly completed road. Removing the bottleneck from the old bridge gives engineers a lot more options when it comes to diverting lanes.

BNSF and political will to build commuter rail are the biggest hurdles to overcome. There are several bridges that need to be replaced and more track would need to be laid. And this is after we can prove that the streetcar is a success.

catch22
03-19-2018, 11:41 PM
As the city grows I believe the political willpower will manifest itself in the long term. Traffic is only going to get worse as the city grows and at some point will be a quality of life issue that the city (or future RTA) will be forced to spearhead.

These current interchanges being constructed are bringing OKC's vehicular capacity to where it should have been 10 years ago. I think eventually ODOT will be forced to diversify their projects as pressure will mount from OKC that a "roads only" approach is no longer working or takes too long with minimal improvement.

pw405
03-20-2018, 06:04 PM
Hey who knows, maybe by the time this project is finished Elon's Boring Company will have their machines up and running (for cheap!) and let us tunnel from the OKC Underground to the Edmond/Norman/MWC/Yukon and BNSF won't be a factor.

Hahha... I know, wishful thinking.

...By the time this is ACTUALLY finished, we'll have flying cars and highways will be obsolete and flying car users will laugh at the irony of calling automobile bridges "fly-overs". That seems more likely.

Of Sound Mind
04-03-2018, 01:05 PM
Last closure of I-235 will be this weekend.

https://www.ok.gov/triton/modules/newsroom/newsroom_article.php?id=277&article_id=41900

The I-235 Off-Broadway project in Oklahoma City will close for a fourth full weekend April 6-9 to remove the old BNSF railroad bridge from over the interstate. This is expected to be the final full closure allowed within the $88 million contract, however, nearly a yearís worth of construction work will remain when I-235 reopens April 9.
I-235 will be closed between N. 36th St. and I-44. The closure will begin at 7 p.m. Friday, April 6, after the evening rush-hour and the interstate is expected to reopen no later than 6 a.m. Monday, April 9.
Motorists also can expect the following ramp closures:


Eastbound I-44 to southbound I-235;
Westbound I-44 to southbound I-235; and
Northbound I-235 on-ramp from N. 36th St.

The contractor plans to remove the 50-year-old railroad bridge using two large cranes. Crews will pull apart the 277-foot-long structure in pieces and move them to a temporary location. Removing this structure opens up the needed space to expand the interstate to six lanes.
There will not be a public viewing area for this phase of the work due to numerous other construction activities taking place on the N. 50th St. bridge and elsewhere within the work zone. However, the bridge demolition may be viewed on a live stream video feed at www.i235live.com (http://www.i235live.com/) throughout the weekend or follow @OKDOT on Twitter and Facebook for updates.
Motorists can expect a significant traffic shift when the work zone reopens April 9. Southbound lanes will be moved toward the center on temporary pavement so that crews can work on adding the new southbound lanes. There are no changes expected for the northbound lane configuration at this time.

jn1780
04-07-2018, 06:20 PM
Old bridge is gone. Their working on removing the piers and approaches now.

catch22
04-08-2018, 05:57 AM
It was hard to comprehend how large that new bridge span was until they recently started moving all of the dirt around the old bridge piers leading up to this weekend.

It also looks like they have the center area paved with temporary asphalt, so it looks like they may be ready to shift one of the directions over to the center to work on the concrete for the permanent widened lanes under the bridge.

Of Sound Mind
04-08-2018, 07:15 AM
https://www.ok.gov/triton/modules/newsroom/newsroom_article.php?id=277&article_id=41900

Motorists can expect a significant traffic shift when the work zone reopens April 9. Southbound lanes will be moved toward the center on temporary pavement so that crews can work on adding the new southbound lanes. There are no changes expected for the northbound lane configuration at this time.
...

Pete
04-08-2018, 11:00 AM
Took these this morning.

http://www.okctalk.com/images/pete/235040818a.jpg


http://www.okctalk.com/images/pete/235040818b.jpg

Of Sound Mind
04-08-2018, 04:33 PM
Both directions opened up about mid-afternoon today. Southbound definitely shifted to the left, taking out that death curve finally.

catch22
04-08-2018, 05:55 PM
...

Missed your post!

Laramie
04-08-2018, 08:44 PM
Growing pains; this project was long overdue...

Pete
05-07-2018, 04:10 AM
Took this Sunday. Looks like the 50th Street bridge is almost complete as is the southbound entrance from 50th to I-235.

http://www.okctalk.com/images/pete/235050618.jpg

hipsterdoofus
05-08-2018, 07:47 PM
Is there no longer going to be an exit to 50th from Sbound 235? Seems like I remember hearing that originally but had forgotten. That's going to be a pain.

OKCisOK4me
05-08-2018, 08:31 PM
Is there no longer going to be an exit to 50th from Sbound 235? Seems like I remember hearing that originally but had forgotten. That's going to be a pain.

Other than neighborhoods (which you can access from Western via I-44) and industrial (which you can access from Lincoln or NW 36th St.), I don't see the issue.

Johnb911
05-09-2018, 07:12 AM
Is there no longer going to be an exit to 50th from Sbound 235? Seems like I remember hearing that originally but had forgotten. That's going to be a pain.

Post #852 shows an exit from southbound 235 going under 50th street and then curving back north and exiting onto 50th and Santa Fe a little bit west of the bridge (green off ramp, orange loop)

gopokes88
05-09-2018, 07:16 AM
Is there no longer going to be an exit to 50th from Sbound 235? Seems like I remember hearing that originally but had forgotten. That's going to be a pain.

I know the fed standard is no exits/entrances 1 mile from interchanges as it leads to more congestion. I dk if they followed that or not though.

Pete
05-09-2018, 07:28 AM
Yes, ultimately as you travel north on I-235 you can exit to 50th but you actually go under the 50th bridge then cloverleaf around back to the south to get to 50th.

d-usa
05-09-2018, 07:43 AM
The quick succession of 36th, 50th, and the interchange was always the killer going north. Mostly the horrible interaction between the 50th on-ramp instantly becoming the on-ramp for I-44 if I remember right.

As long as they come up with a better solution Iíll be happy.

jn1780
05-09-2018, 08:20 AM
Post #852 shows an exit from southbound 235 going under 50th street and then curving back north and exiting onto 50th and Santa Fe a little bit west of the bridge (green off ramp, orange loop)

That's going NB. There hasn't been a SB exit since they demolished the Santa fe bridge structure way back when they built the I-44 to I235 ramp. There also wont be a NB ramp to 235 anymore.

SB from 50th st ia being simplified to just one SB ramp from a controlled intersection west of the 50th st bridge.

Johnb911
05-09-2018, 09:40 AM
That's going NB. There hasn't been a SB exit since they demolished the Santa fe bridge structure way back when they built the I-44 to I235 ramp. There also wont be a NB ramp to 235 anymore.

SB from 50th st ia being simplified to just one SB ramp from a controlled intersection west of the 50th st bridge.

oh man. directions. sideways maps got me all messed up. my b

Scott5114
05-09-2018, 03:07 PM
I know the fed standard is no exits/entrances 1 mile from interchanges as it leads to more congestion. I dk if they followed that or not though.

What document contains this standard? This is the first I've heard of one existing. (Yes, it's a good idea, but I don't know of any specific FHWA directive outlining it.)

d-usa
05-09-2018, 03:59 PM
Part of the issue with the old entry/exit was that it wasn’t even where 50th crosses, but instead a good stretch north of there. Which made 50th/I-44/63rd even more crowded.

hipsterdoofus
05-09-2018, 08:25 PM
I know the fed standard is no exits/entrances 1 mile from interchanges as it leads to more congestion. I dk if they followed that or not though.

Yeah that seemed to be what I remember seeing. For the most part, I think it's a good idea. In fact, most of the time it won't be a big deal to me (except on Marathon days, I go watch my favorite runner and access the area via 50th). Guess i'll have to go over to Lincoln and loop back like last year.

warreng88
05-10-2018, 08:44 AM
Yes, ultimately as you travel north on I-235 you can exit to 50th but you actually go under the 50th bridge then cloverleaf around back to the south to get to 50th.

That explains the grading they are doing going north. Makes sense now. Thanks for the update Pete.

jn1780
05-10-2018, 09:49 AM
That explains the grading they are doing going north. Makes sense now. Thanks for the update Pete.

That same exit ramp will also lead to the future I44 Westbound overpass.

warreng88
05-10-2018, 10:15 AM
That same exit ramp will also lead to the future I44 Westbound overpass.

I didn't know that. So it will be kind of like the EB 44 to SB 235 with an eventual flyover to NB 235? Kind of that split exit?

jn1780
05-10-2018, 10:57 AM
I didn't know that. So it will be kind of like the EB 44 to SB 235 with an eventual flyover to NB 235? Kind of that split exit?

Correct

Pete
05-11-2018, 05:20 AM
This shows the phasing, although they are already way behind the original schedule.

http://www.okctalk.com/images/pete/235051118.jpg

bombermwc
05-11-2018, 06:47 AM
Thank you for rotating that image so i dont have to keep looking at it sideways.... :)

Richard at Remax
05-13-2018, 08:57 AM
Shame they couldn't get Santa Fe connected together. I think it was in the original plans but could be mistaken.

Plutonic Panda
05-13-2018, 04:17 PM
It was in the original plans, but OkDOT cheaper out per usual. It seems as though they are making a future bridge still possible by the plans, it just probably won’t be by their doing.

Of Sound Mind
05-14-2018, 04:43 AM
It was in the original plans, but OkDOT cheaper out per usual. It seems as though they are making a future bridge still possible by the plans, it just probably won’t be by their doing.
Some people have to actually live in the real world with real budgets and real limitations on what can or cannot be realistically achieved.

In dream world, idealism shines and good ideas aren't handcuffed by economic realities.

rte66man
05-14-2018, 06:20 AM
It was in the original plans, but OkDOT cheaper out per usual. It seems as though they are making a future bridge still possible by the plans, it just probably won’t be by their doing.

The Legislature has taken nearly $900 million from ODOT in the last few years to "balance the budget". It's a wonder they can build any major project with that kind of "support".

jn1780
05-14-2018, 11:54 AM
Hopefully, phase 8 will actually get started next year. You can almost consider the last phase 3a to be it's own stand alone project. That phase adds a Lincoln overpass bridge for the northbound Broadway extension ramp to go under. The main interchange should be done at that point.

Plutonic Panda
05-14-2018, 08:45 PM
Some people have to actually live in the real world with real budgets and real limitations on what can or cannot be realistically achieved.

In dream world, idealism shines and good ideas aren't handcuffed by economic realities.

Ah, I almost couldn't tell from down here. Meanwhile tons of other states somehow manage to do projects above and beyond what OkDOT does. How about from now on I just say the state of Oklahoma. My criticism is valid and OkDOT should have a bigger budget. I'm not asking for every road to be paved in gold here. But if you want to justify the cheap actions of the state, then by all means, keep living in your old ways. Oklahoma's infrastructure is an absolute joke.

Plutonic Panda
05-14-2018, 08:48 PM
The Legislature has taken nearly $900 million from ODOT in the last few years to "balance the budget". It's a wonder they can build any major project with that kind of "support".

I understand why this bridge wasn't built. Perhaps I should have been a little clearer on who my beef with is here. It isn't just OkDOT, it is the state of Oklahoma. This interchange should have been a four stack, but I'm not even complaining about that. I just think the state cheaped out here and can't even manage to build a bridge. It's not really even that big of deal, I'm sure it can be built later. Whatever the case is, these improvements here will be welcome.

Rover
05-14-2018, 08:52 PM
ODOT can’t spend money they don’t have. They are not the legislature. We get it that you HATE ODOT and are much smarter than them, but they can’t just go spend money to prove how cool they are.

Plutonic Panda
05-14-2018, 08:54 PM
ODOT can’t spend money they don’t have. They are not the legislature. We get it that you HATE ODOT and are much smarter than them, but they can’t just go spend money to prove how cool they are.

I get it Rover, you are the one of the biggest Oklahoma apologist's on the board. Try actually reading my entire comments and you'll see I have given OkDOT great praise for some of their recent projects. This is just yet another example of how the slightest criticisms of anything to do with this state triggers a pool of posters on this site who get upset.

Rover
05-14-2018, 09:53 PM
I get it Rover, you are the one of the biggest Oklahoma apologist's on the board. Try actually reading my entire comments and you'll see I have given OkDOT great praise for some of their recent projects. This is just yet another example of how the slightest criticisms of anything to do with this state triggers a pool of posters on this site who get upset.
I’m not an apologists. I just don’t start out with assuming anything OK connected is stupid like some do.

Plutonic Panda
05-15-2018, 12:04 AM
I’m not an apologists. I just don’t start out with assuming anything OK connected is stupid like some do.

I don't assume that either. I even said that they are making a future bridge possible and perhaps I didn't specify in my post I was giving them points for that. What irritates me is that they dropped the plan entirely. According to them the bridge was originally included in the project to offset traffic issues by having to narrow the mainline to one lane each way but later on they were able to make it work by having 2 lanes each way open so the bridge was no longer necessary. Would have been nice if they could have at least kept it as a future phase as this bridge would be beneficial to people in the immediate area, though I can't give OkDOT all of the blame here. I wouldn't get mad at them for wanting OKC to pitch in as it would affect the city more than OkDOT's highway network.

Otherwise, I don't think this is that big of a deal, just a snarky by me. BTW, I do think OkDOT is going in a new direction and for the better. I tried to convey that on the topic of their new website which I'm not fond of anymore. They are moving too slowly and it is irritating, but yes, I get they are limited in what they can do due to their budget situation. They are trying to push the state for more funding and it is evident in their meetings and press releases. If I were involved more directly than I would be more specific in whom I'm frustrated with, but I'm giving my 2 cents on a message board and I'm sure you can get the gist of what I'm getting at here.

hipsterdoofus
05-15-2018, 05:36 PM
Shame they couldn't get Santa Fe connected together. I think it was in the original plans but could be mistaken.

Yep, I could have sworn that the original plans were to put a bridge across santa fe first before this other stuff, but definitely seems to have disappeared.

baralheia
05-15-2018, 06:21 PM
Yep, I could have sworn that the original plans were to put a bridge across santa fe first before this other stuff, but definitely seems to have disappeared.

You are correct... I found this picture of the original planned configuration for this interchange from 2010. The bridge extending Santa Fe across I-44 was originally Phase 4B.

http://i1010.photobucket.com/albums/af224/viper912_cd/IMG00053-20100207-2253.jpg (right is north)