Since February, traffic has been detoured on Interstate-44 at Yale while the interstate was being widened and the intersection around it was rebuilt. Part of that construction job will be done by the weekend, but it's going to be a headache during the next few days. For drivers it's going to be a constantly changing detour on I-44 starting Wednesday morning. News on 6 reporter Emory Bryan says that's expected to cause some big delays, but only until the weekend when the new lanes will be opened on I-44.
The section of I-44 westbound approaching Yale, where traffic shifts to the left, will be changing over the next few days as traffic moves right onto the new wider lanes that are now empty. It's a step towards the end of a long construction job and drivers are ready for it.
"It's horrendous, depending on what time of day you come through," said one driver.
The state will move traffic to the new lanes over a span of three days. The barriers will be moving several times each day, so the state wants drivers on the interstate to stay alert.
"If you don't have to go through there, I would suggest not using it, because there will be multiple lane closures as we finish up the last details that are in the job at the ends where we connect up to the other roads," said ODOT Project Engineer Matt Moshiri.
There will be backups during the changes, but by the weekend, the bottleneck will be gone. Soon the interstate and all of the on and off ramps will be open. But there will still be one direction where cars can't go, that's from northbound Yale to westbound I-44 it's because of a difference in height that's going to be blocked off until the entire project is done.
"Yeah it will be nice when it's finished so it's all worthwhile," one motorist said.
The next part of the job is the northbound side of Yale, and all the connections to the access roads around it. Traffic on Yale will soon be changing too, but not until after the transition on the interstate above it is done. All the work at the intersection should be done by March and then the interstate will have to be widened between Sheridan and Yale to connect all the sections already widened with this new improved section at Yale.