February Commission Wrap-up: Next phase of OKC Boulevard construction, I-244 improvements in Tulsa
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
February 11, 2015
Highlights of the Oklahoma Transportation Commission’s Monday, Feb. 9 meeting include recognition of Oklahoma Department of Transportation's highway beautification and litter removal efforts, announcement of ODOT pavement projects receiving national awards and approval of contracts for the next phase of Oklahoma City Boulevard construction and major interstate improvements in Oklahoma City, Tulsa and Ardmore.
Executive Director Mike Patterson announced that ODOT was the recipient of the 2014 U.S. State DOT Partnership Award from the U.S. Department of Transportation and Keep America Beautiful. The award recognizes state departments of transportation for supporting local partners in litter cleanup efforts. Keep Oklahoma Beautiful nominated ODOT for the award, which the agency previously won in 2013. Each year, ODOT partners with KOB for the Great American Cleanup, which saw 45,000 volunteers collect more than 3 million pounds of litter statewide in 2014, resulting in $5 million in savings to state, county and municipal governments.
Three awards from the National Asphalt Pavement Association were presented to ODOT and Oklahoma City-based contractor Haskell Lemon Construction Co. for asphalt pavement projects completed in 2014. The award-winning projects included resurfacing work on SH-4 near Mustang in Canadian County, SH-9 in Norman and SH-56 near Okemah in Okfuskee County.
The next phase of construction on the new Oklahoma City Boulevard will move forward thanks to the commission’s approval of a contract with a more than $40 million base bid, with hefty financial incentives for lessening the impact to downtown traffic by completing early. This project will build a brand-new city street in the footprint of the old I-40 Crosstown bridge to connect E.K. Gaylord Blvd./Shields Blvd. to the new ramps at the I-40/I-235/I-35 junction.
“Construction of the east portion of the new Boulevard will help reconnect the interstate to downtown Oklahoma City, providing greater access to the arenas and future convention center,” Patterson said. “The City of Oklahoma City has been a great partner and we will continue working with them on details and agreements for the next phases to the west.”
Also approved was a contract with a base bid of $3.2 million for reconstruction of the northbound I-235 off-ramp to Harrison Ave. in Oklahoma City. The new ramp will provide an additional exit to N.E. 10th St., allowing traffic to access area businesses and the OU Medical Center. The contractor also stands to earn financial incentives for completing the project early.
More interstate improvements are coming to Tulsa following the commission’s approval of a contract for $22 million pavement replacement project on I-244 from the US-75 junction at the northeast corner of the Inner Dispersal Loop to Delaware Ave. This will tie into another $38 million pavement replacement and bridge rehabilitation project between Delaware Ave. and 73rd E. Ave. scheduled to begin in March.
Commissioners approved programming of two future projects to expand ODOT’s network of non-recording traffic cameras and highway message boards. The first project will include installation of several new traffic cameras at major highway interchanges and bridges in the Tulsa metro area. Not only will the additional cameras enable ODOT and emergency workers to better respond to highway incidents, the public can also access the video feed online and view current traffic conditions. The second project will install a network of traffic cameras and highway message boards at Oklahoma’s seven ports-of-entry, located at major border crossings. Design work is underway on both projects, which are expected to go to bid in late 2015.
Commissioners also voted to award a nearly $7.5 million contract to rehabilitate the I-35 bridges over US-70 and the BNSF railroad in Ardmore. The phasing of this project will allow all lanes of I-35 to be open to traffic during the busy college football season.
In all, commissioners awarded 31 contracts totaling more than $109 million to improve bridges, highways, interstates and roads in 24 counties. Contracts were awarded for projects in Alfalfa, Atoka, Beaver, Beckham, Caddo, Carter, Comanche, Cotton, Creek, Garfield, Garvin, Jefferson, Kingfisher, Latimer, LeFlore, McCurtain, Nowata, Oklahoma, Osage, Payne, Pottawatomie, Stephens, Tulsa and Woods counties.
The next regular meeting is scheduled for Monday, March 2 at 11 a.m. in the R.A. Ward Transportation Building in Oklahoma City. Contracts, bid information, the commission’s monthly agenda and project details can be viewed at www.odot.org/meetings.
(Editors and News Directors: For more information, call the ODOT Media and Public Relations Division at 405-521-6000.)