Preparing for the widening of I-44 near Yale

Tuesday, November 9th 2004, 10:30 am
By: News On 6

Work is now beginning along I-44 for a multi-million dollar expansion project, any construction is still down the road.

News on 6 anchor Scott Thompson says demolition crews tore down a gas station and a hotel near I-44 and Yale. It’s the first signs of a construction project that's been talked about for the past 10 years.

Phase One of the I-44 construction project is happening at the Yale interchange. The Oklahoma Department of Transportation will then start work on widening the interstate between Yale and Sheridan. After that, construction will begin on widening the highway between Yale and the Arkansas River. And even though crews were clearing land this week, no work is planned on the highways for the near future.

ODOT doesn't plan to open the bidding on Phase one of the project until November of next year. Until then, they'll work on several small right-of-way and utility projects that need to happen before major construction starts. But even after road work begins, ODOT plans on keeping all four existing lanes of the highway open, to help minimize the hassle for commuters.

ODOT division engineer Gary Evans: “There will be some inconveniences. Certainly, whenever you build something there is some dirt to be moved and those types of things, but we'll do the best we can to keep traffic flowing."