Commission Approves Contracts to Complete Two Oklahoma City Corridors
OKLAHOMA CITY, OK The Oklahoma Transportation Commission authorized contracts to launch projects next spring that will complete two long-planned improvements in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, one for the downtown area and the other for the SH 74 corridor in the city's northwest.
"The department is excited to meet these milestones and make good on our promise to complete the corridors for two areas that are seeing significant growth and change. Completion of corridors is of paramount importance to our mission," said Oklahoma Department of Transportation Executive Director Mike Patterson.
"These improvements will increase safety and access to both areas" he said, adding that the SH 74 project "highlights the department's commitment to improving pavement conditions in rural areas that are transitioning to more urban-like conditions."
Commissioners voted to award a contract for up to $27 million project to build two remaining core sections of the Oklahoma City Boulevard in the downtown. Work is expected to take about one and one-half years to finish, and the contract includes financial incentives for early completion.
Once completed, the four-lane boulevard will become a city street operated and maintained by Oklahoma City, which acquired all necessary right-of-way and relocated utilities prior to construction.
ODOT said the project includes repairs to highway lighting along the entire Interstate 40 crosstown corridor, "which was damaged and rendered inoperable by vandalism and wire theft."
The commission also awarded a contract for up to $22 million for a final phase of reconstruction and widening of SH 74 (Portland Ave.) from two to four lanes in northwest Oklahoma City. That contract also includes financial for early completion of the work, which is expected to take more than one year.
The roadway expansion, ODOT said, "will help support future traffic in this rapidly growing and developing part of the metro area. On average, more than 21,000 vehicles travel SH-74 in this area each day, far exceeding the capacity of the existing two-lane highway."
As part of this project, all affected intersections will be rebuilt with turn lanes and traffic signals.
The highway will remain open during construction, as the new three-mile segment will be built on an alignment just east of the existing road. However ODOT said it "strongly urges motorists to find alternate routes, such as I-35, to help alleviate congestion."