I-235, also known as the Centennial Expressway, opened to traffic in 1989 coinciding with the celebration of the 100 year anniversary of the Land Run of 1889. This new highway quickly became a well-traveled route within the metropolitan freeway system, serving as an important link between northern and southern portions of the Oklahoma City area.
Even though I-235 was by all accounts beneficial to the car-commuting citizens of the metro area, it was devastating to the already-fragile urban neighborhoods though which it passed, including Deep Deuce. Both the mainline interstate as well as multiple cloverleaf ramps devoured large swaths of neighborhoods and turned them into a soulless stretch grass and concrete. While a boon for drivers, this 5.4 mile freeway ultimately severed the northeast portion of the inner-city from the rest of downtown.
At the time the freeway was constructed, downtown was all but dead and the loss of…
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