I-40 Crosstown and OKC Boulevard
At its Monday, Dec. 4 meeting, the Oklahoma Transportation Commission voted to award a contract to construct the two remaining core sections of the Oklahoma City Boulevard between Western Ave. and Shields Blvd./E.K. Gaylord Blvd. in downtown Oklahoma City. This rendering shows the new roadway looking east from Hudson Ave.
Final Oklahoma City Boulevard Work Underway
Work began in the mid-1990s to realign and bring the I-40 Crosstown bridge to ground level, which opened to traffic in 2012. Now, the final pieces of construction are about to begin to complete the new Oklahoma City Boulevard in the old I-40 footprint in downtown Oklahoma City. The Oklahoma Transportation Commission awarded Dec. 4, 2017, an up to $27 million project to construct the two remaining core sections of the Oklahoma City Blvd.
These two sections include:
- Just east of Klein to Walker and a new bridge over Western; and
- Walker to Shields Blvd./E.K. Gaylord Blvd.
Construction began Feb. 12 and is expected to complete in early fall 2019. The contract was awarded to Allen Construction Inc. and Shell Construction Inc. of Oklahoma City and it includes incentives for early completion.
The City of Oklahoma City partnered with ODOT and the Federal Highway Administration, purchasing the right-of-way for the Boulevard and relocating the utilities. Once completed, the four-lane boulevard will become a city street operated and maintained by the City of Oklahoma City.
A new sub-section of the Oklahoma City Boulevard was scheduled to open to traffic Friday, Dec. 21, between Hudson and Walker Ave.
As sub-sections are completed and inspected, the Oklahoma Department of Transportation will open the area to traffic as soon as possible.
Oklahoma City Boulevard intersections between Shields/EK Gaylord Blvd. to Walker Ave., are open but remain four-way stops with traffic signals scheduled for installation later in the project at Walker, Harvey and Robinson.
Drivers in downtown Oklahoma City should pay close attention to signage and should plan extra travel time in the area.
The following closures and lane impacts are scheduled through mid-2019 for the completion of the OKC Boulevard:
- OKC Boulevard drivers will not be able to turn onto Harvey Ave. at this time due to ongoing work at this intersection;
- Reno Ave. is narrowed to one lane in each direction and traffic is shifted between Klein and Walker;
- Northbound lanes of Western Ave. are closed at S.W. Third St.;
- Robinson Ave. is narrowed to one lane in each direction between Reno Ave. and S.W. Fifth St.;
- Western Ave. and Classen Blvd. are closed between S.W. Third St. and W. Sheridan Ave.;
- Drivers will not be able to make a left turn from Reno Ave. onto S. Western Ave.;
- Exchange Ave. is permanently closed at Western Ave. and Reno Ave.;
- California St. is permanently closed at Classen Blvd.; and
- S.W. Fifth St. is an eastbound only detour between Western Ave. and Walker Ave.
If traveling I-40, motorists are encouraged to exit at Penn Ave. or Robinson Ave.
Lane closures will be announced in the Traffic Advisories section of www.odot.org as they are scheduled. Drivers may sign up to receive the daily traffic advisories by clicking the “Sign Up For News & Alerts” link on the main page of this website. Follow @OKDOT on twitter.com or on Facebook at www.facebook.com/OKDOT
Oklahoma’s three major interstates converge near downtown Oklahoma City with I-35 and I-44 intersecting I-40 at either end of a 4-mile stretch known as the Crosstown. The original Crosstown was built about five blocks north of I-40’s new alignment through downtown Oklahoma City. To move the highway, the Oklahoma Department of Transportation embarked on one of its largest projects since the interstate system was completed in the 1970s.
Completed in 1966, the original three-lane I-40 Crosstown was designed to carry up to 76,000 vehicles daily. By 2005, when ground was broken for the new highway, it routinely carried as many as 125,000 vehicles each day.
The I-40 Crosstown is designed to carry about 173,000 vehicles daily on five lanes in each direction. A planned multi-lane boulevard offering a connection to downtown Oklahoma City will further increase traffic capacity in the area.
Aesthetics in the project include the SkyDance pedestrian bridge near Robinson Ave. as well as design details on other bridges. Elements have been incorporated into retaining and screen walls that complement architectural aspects of the nearby Little Flower Church.
Overview of I-40 and OKC Boulevard Connections
Serving as the final phase of the I-40 Crosstown relocation project, the Oklahoma City Boulevard will improve access to the downtown Oklahoma City Central Business District from the new I-40. The completed Oklahoma City Boulevard will serve as a low-speed city street running through the planned convention center and central park area, connecting on the east end to I-235 and I-40 near Bricktown and on the west end to I-40 near Pennsylvania Ave. and Western Ave. Plans for the new four-lane Boulevard include on-street parking as well as inclusion of features to make it pedestrian and bicycle friendly.
The anticipated overall cost of the Oklahoma City Boulevard is about $80 million, which includes about $50 million for connections to the new I-40 alignment at the east and west ends and another $30 million for the central part of the new Boulevard.
The overall construction of the Boulevard and connections to I-40, I-235 and I-35 includes:
- A now completed $9 million project that constructed the west end connection of the Boulevard to I-40.
- A $27 million project on the east end of the Boulevard finished in late 2015. It was contracted to Sherwood Construction Co. Inc. of Catoosa.
- The construction of one portion of the Oklahoma City Boulevard and connecting it to the new I-40 alignment, I-235, I-35 and Lincoln Blvd./Byers Boathouse District began in March 2015. It included major railroad bridge work and construction of the Oklahoma City Boulevard intersection with Shields Blvd./EK Gaylord Blvd.
- The EK Gaylord Blvd. portion of this $40 million project opened in late fall 2016.
- The BNSF railroad bridge and the work on the Bricktown section opened in late fall 2016.
- The final two Oklahoma City Boulevard projects from just west of Western to Shields Blvd./E.K. Gaylord Blvd. were awarded Dec. 4, 2017, with construction scheduled to begin in early 2018.
Click here to read more about the final projects being awarded.
The Oklahoma Department of Transportation (ODOT) ensures that no person or groups of persons shall, on the grounds of race, color, sex, religion, national origin, age, disability, retaliation or genetic information, be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be otherwise subjected to discrimination under any and all programs, services, or activities administered by ODOT, its recipients, sub-recipients, and contractors. To request an accommodation please contact the ADA Coordinator at 405-521-4140 or the Oklahoma Relay Service at 1-800-722-0353.