ODOT hoping improvements prevent highway flooding

A trouble spot for flooding is I-235 in the construction zone. (KOKH/Will Maetzold)

Flooding events have happened before in the I-235 construction zone south of I-44. Just in the last year, the highway had to be shut down multiple times because of high water.

"Even the one we had recently a few months ago wasn't to the level that we had last year," Oklahoma Department of Transportation spokesperson Terri Angier said. "So we've seen a little bit of improvement there."

Angier said the worst flooding came about a year ago.

The construction is adding about 30 new drains to the area, including the biggest at 96 inches long.

"It's exponentially going to be a lot better," Angier said. "The project isn't finished of course and the whole thing hasn't been tied together but it's already starting to function a lot better than it used to."

Angier said ODOT will have extra crews out this weekend to prepare for the rain. They will be looking to clear drains and help drivers who need it.

"We have the same crew looking out for anything that could be a problem on the roadway and they call in additional crews as needed," Angier said.

Another place that is being improved is on Highway 74 in Deer Creek. That road and side streets have been prone to flooding.

"We still want to caution people control is still in the driver's hands and to make sure we watch for roadways," Angier said.

ODOT said it won't wait to close roads when water is too high.

Another thing to help with drainage is to avoid littering on the highway.

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