Friday afternoon drivers have more access to downtown.

Drivers will soon have more options with access to downtown Oklahoma City as the west end reconnection project completes on the I-40 Crosstown. The project reconnects the interstate to the future Oklahoma City Boulevard.

Transportation officials expect the stretch to open Friday afternoon before evening rush hour.

Eastbound I-40 Crosstown traffic will have a new, additional exit for the Oklahoma City Boulevard on the corridor’s west end. The new exit will allow travel toward downtown and will open up access to Virginia Ave. and Klein Ave.

For now, this new roadway ends at Klein Ave. until additional, future construction takes place for the Oklahoma City Boulevard. The project also provides drivers with a westbound I-40 on-ramp from the Oklahoma City Boulevard at Klein Ave. and at Virginia Ave.

This nearly $9 million construction project with Allen Contracting from Oklahoma City got underway in August. It is opening to traffic three months ahead of schedule.

“This reconnection will provide drivers with additional ramps and start to help alleviate the morning and evening congestion on Western Ave. We are very pleased that the contractor is able to deliver it early,” Joe Echelle, Oklahoma Department of Transportation Construction Engineer said.

Additional construction for the east end reconnection of the I-40 Crosstown, near the I-40/I-235/I-35 Dallas junction, is scheduled to get underway in early 2014 and is expected to be completed in summer 2015. Studies are being done for the center section of the Oklahoma City Boulevard from Western Ave. to E.K. Gaylord Blvd/Shields Ave. before design decisions are made.

For daily lane closures, visit the ODOT website at, then click Traffic Advisories. Also, follow @OKDOT on Twitter for timely updates and information.