Oklahoma Department of Transportation — Off Broadway I-235 Widening and BNSF Truss Bridge

Interstate 235 is one of the most traveled corridors in Oklahoma City – connecting the Northwestern part of the city to the state Capitol building, entertainment, and medical facilities. With the corridor carrying 100,000 vehicles per day, I-235 was in dire need of improvements to help match modern safety standards. This $88 million project was the fourth in a series of seven to work towards upgrading the corridor. The widening of I-235 was completed in 22 months, more than a year ahead of schedule. The BNSF Truss Bridge over I-235 marked the first truss bridge built on Oklahoma’s highway system since the 1960s. The Oklahoma Department of Transportation needed a solution that allowed for up to eight lanes of traffic without using massive piers to support the railroad bridge. A truss bridge design was chosen as the solution. Two spans – each standing 45 feet tall – weighed around 2,000 tons a piece. They were built and carefully moved almost a quarter of a mile to reduce the time the interstate was closed. The wind proved to be one of the biggest challenges for ODOT, for it to be less than 20 mph for the move to happen. ODOT set up a public viewing area during the two-day closure with over 700 people attending in-person and another 17,000 watching live online.  This project helped provide Oklahoma City with a safer bridge and transportation corridor that met the needs of all travelers who use it, using an innovative solution that addressed those needs, and allowing the public to be a part of their hard work.