Interstate 235 Oklahoma
Following a combination of the Centennial Expressway and Broadway Extension, Interstate 235 through Oklahoma City links Interstates 35 and 40 by Bricktown with Interstate 44 near Nichols Hills. U.S. 77 overlaps with all of the Interstate route, extending north from I-35 to the Broadway Extension freeway to Edmond.
Off Broadway and I-235
Rebuilding of the oldest section of Interstate 235, from North 36th Street to Interstate 44, got underway by 2011. Completed at that time was a new ramp from I-44 east to I-235 south. The $10 million project replaced the first of the substandard ramps at the cloverleaf interchange joining the two freeways.
The Off Broadway project commenced on August 22, 2016 with work from North 36th to NW 63rd Streets. The resurfacing contract was completed ahead of schedule by late September 2016. Succeeding construction was underway on January 2, 2017. The $88 million third phase expanded Interstate 235 to six overall lanes from N 36th Street to just beyond N 50th Street and replaced the BNSF Railroad and North 50th Street overpasses. Finished a year ahead of schedule, all lanes of traffic were opened to traffic on November 9, 2018, with final work completed by month’s end.
Estimated to cost $35 million, additional work (Phase 2B) will add flyovers linking Interstate 235 north with I-44 west and from I-44 east to U.S. 77 (Broadway Extension) north. Subsequent reconstruction of the ramp joining Interstate 44 westbound with Broadway Extension north (Phase 3A) is estimated to cost $16 million. Completion of the overall Off Broadway project is not expected until 2024.
North End – Oklahoma City, OK
South End – Oklahoma City, OK
Mileage – 5.36
Cities – Oklahoma City
- Junctions –
Source: December 31, 2018 Interstate Route Log and Finders List
I-235 through Oklahoma City was established as an Interstate route by AASHTO on July 13, 1976 between I-35 & 40 and then I-240. The Centennial Expressway section of I-235, from Interstates 35 & 40 north to NW 36th Street, opened to traffic on April 22, 1989, coinciding with the 100-year anniversary of the “Oklahoma Land Run.” The section beyond North 36th Street was built in the late 1960s and is considered part of Broadway.1
U.S. 77 originally navigated through central Oklahoma City along surface streets. Overlapping with U.S. 62, U.S. 77 partitioned along the couplet of Robinson Avenue / Broadway through Downtown to NE 23rd Street east (U.S. 270). 23rd Street took U.S. 62-72-270 east to the State Capitol and Lincoln Boulevard. There U.S. 77 combined with U.S. 66 Business north to Grand Boulevard, the predecessor to Interstate 44 and the Northeast Expressway.
Construction was underway by 1962 for Broadway Extension south from U.S. 66 (Grand Boulevard) topping Park. Upon completion, the freeway spur south from U.S. 66 was unnumbered. What would eventually become a part of I-235 south to I-35 and I-40 was originally referenced as the Capital Freeway. The Capital Freeway was proposed to tie into Lincoln Boulevard south of the Capitol on the 1976 Official Oklahoma Highway Map.
U.S. 77 was initially realigned from using Robinson Avenue southbound to follow just Broadway through Downtown. The relocation from 5th Street SW north to 23rd Street NW was approved by AASHTO on October 28, 1978. The 1981 Official Oklahoma Highway Map shows U.S. 77 changed again, following Reno Avenue east to Lincoln Boulevard north. Upon completion of the Centennial Freeway, U.S. 77 shifted a final time to overlap with all of Interstate 235.
North End – Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
The oldest section of Interstate 235 leads north into a cloverleaf interchange with IH 44. The Off Broadway construction project through 2024 expands this section of freeway to six lanes and upgrades the forthcoming exchange to include flyovers and higher speed ramps. Photo taken by Eric Stuve (08/29/15).
An early phase of the Off Broadway project for IH 44/235 added a new flyover for Interstate 44 west from U.S. 77 (Broadway Extension) south. The new overpass spans the on-ramp from NW 63rd Street, eliminating a weaving traffic pattern. Sign changes included the addition of control cities for I-44. Photo taken by Eric Stuve (04/14/13).
A new wider ramp with a higher design speed opened to traffic from IH 44 east to Broadway Extension south on January 18, 2014. Completed three months ahead of schedule, the $9 million construction project was an early phase of the Off Broadway project underway from 2016 through 2024.2 Photo taken by Eric Stuve (02/23/13).
A directional T interchange (Exit 128A) connects Interstate 44 with the north end of Lincoln Boulevard (old U.S. 66 Business / U.S. 77), a half mile ahead of IH 235. U.S. 77 previously overlapped with IH 44 west to make the connection with Broadway Extension north. Photo taken by Jeff Morrison (12/28/05).
A c/d lane separates from IH 444 west for the ramps to U.S. 77 (Broadway Extension) north to Edmond and IH 235/U.S. 77 south to the Oklahoma State Capitol. The Off Broadway project will build a flyover carrying traffic from IH 235 north to IH 44 west, eliminating the loop ramp and weaving traffic pattern here. Photo taken by Eric Stuve (10/24/15).
North End Throwback
Broadway Extension shifts northeast to pass under N 50th Street to what was a partial trumpet interchange with an access road linking IH 235 with parallel Santa Fe Avenue north of NE 50th Street. The overpass and southbound off-ramp to Santa Fe Avenue were demolished by 2013 to make way for a new off-ramp from IH 44 east to IH 235 south. Photo taken 10/20/03.
The first sign referencing Interstate 235 south along Broadway Extension was this overhead posted at the off-ramp for Santa Fe Avenue and N 50th Street. This exit permanently closed to accommodate a new high speed ramp from IH 44 east to IH 235 south, opened in 2013. Photo taken by Jeff Morrison (12/28/05).
South End – Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
Interstate 40 was realigned southward from the aging Crosstown Expressway viaduct over a multiyear project completed in 2012. Oklahoma City Boulevard follows the original freeway right of way as a surface boulevard, while IH 40 loops southward closer to the parallel North Canadian River. Photo taken by Eric Stuve (08/05/17).
North East at
South West at
IH 35/U.S. 62 dog legs west along side IH 40/U.S. 270 for 0.8 miles from a directional T interchange (Exit 126) to IH 235/U.S. 77. U.S. 62 navigates throughout the Oklahoma City metro area along the Interstate system. Entering IH 35 from NE 23rd Street to the east, U.S. 62 follows the freeway south to IH 240, and the Southwest Expressway west to IH 44 and Newcastle. Photo taken by Eric Stuve (04/12/13).
Traveling west between Reno Avenue and the North Canadian River, simultaneous off-ramps depart for both IH 235/U.S. 77 north to the Oklahoma State Capitol and eastern reaches of Downtown and for the continuation of IH 35 south to Ardmore, Denton and Dallas-Fort Worth in Texas. Photo taken by Eric Stuve (07/26/16).
The Interstate 35 southbound mainline reduces to a one lane TOTSO ramp from the left as three lanes continue west along IH 40/U.S. 270 around the south side of Downtown Oklahoma City. IH 235 (Centennial Expressway) angles northeast along side the Bricktown and Midtown areas. Photo taken by Eric Stuve (07/26/16).
The new eastbound lanes of Interstate 40 to the south of Downtown Oklahoma City opened to traffic on January 5, 2012. These replaced a narrow viaduct (Crosstown Bridge) located further north. The freeway passes by Wheeler Park ahead of Exit 150A for Shields Boulevard (old U.S. 77), 2.25 miles west of IH 235 north. Photo taken by Eric Stuve (05/11/13).
South End Throwback
Traveling east along the former Crosstown Bridge, 1.25 miles ahead of IH 35/235. IH 40 was realigned from the deteriorating six-lane viaduct during an eight year project started in 2005. The freeway shifted southward along an at-grade alignment with up to ten lanes of capacity. Photo taken 10/20/03.
- Celebrate the Interstate: America’s Interstate Highway System Turns 50!
http://www.okladot.state.ok.us/okinterstate50/Oklahoma Department of Transportation web page.
- “New ramp at I-235 and I-44 to open in Oklahoma City.” The Oklahoman (Oklahoma City), January 18, 2014.
Page updated August 23, 2019.