Contracts awarded to complete two major Oklahoma City corridors
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
December 4, 2017
Final work to complete two long-awaited improvements on the Oklahoma City Boulevard in the city’s downtown area and the SH-74 corridor in northwest Oklahoma City will begin in spring 2018 thanks to action by the Oklahoma Transportation Commission at its Dec. 4 meeting.
“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. The SH-74 corridor expansion 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 to Allen Contracting Inc. and Shell Construction Inc. of Oklahoma City for an up to $27 million project to construct the two remaining core sections of the Oklahoma City Blvd. in downtown Oklahoma City. These interior sections between Western Ave. and Shields Blvd./E.K. Gaylord Blvd., including a bridge over Western Ave., will be built within the footprint of the old I-40 Crosstown bridge and will reconnect the downtown area with the relocated interstate via the already-completed west and east end connections. Work is expected to take about one and one-half years to finish, and the contract includes financial incentives for early completion. During construction, drivers can expect traffic impacts at the city streets intersecting the new boulevard, with ODOT and the City of Oklahoma City coordinating closely to minimize inconvenience to downtown drivers.
Following the 2012 opening of the new at-grade I-40 Crosstown south of downtown, the old Crosstown bridge was deconstructed to make way for the new boulevard to be built by ODOT as part of the Crosstown project. After completion, it will be used by the City of Oklahoma City as a new city street reconnecting downtown with the new interstate alignment. The west end connection between I-40 and Klein Ave. was completed in 2013 and the east end connection to I-40, I-235 and I-35 was completed in 2016. Construction of the first middle section of the new boulevard between the east end connection and Shields Blvd./E.K. Gaylord Blvd., including the BNSF railroad bridge over the roadway, also was completed in 2016. Including this final phase, the overall cost estimate for the new I-40 Crosstown, the Oklahoma City Boulevard and its connections totals about $720 million.
Once completed, the four-lane boulevard will become a city street operated and maintained by the City of Oklahoma City, which acquired all necessary right-of-way and relocated utilities prior to construction. This project also includes necessary repairs to highway lighting along the entire I-40 Crosstown corridor, which was damaged and rendered inoperable by vandalism and wire theft.
The commission also awarded a contract to T.J. Campbell Construction Company of Oklahoma City for an up to $22 million project for the final phase of reconstruction and widening of SH-74 (Portland Ave.) from two to four lanes in northwest Oklahoma City. This phase will widen the roadway to a four-lane divided highway from just north of N.W. 164th St. to N.W. 206th St. (Covell Rd.), completing the expansion of the corridor between Memorial Rd. and Waterloo Rd. This final phase of SH-74 expansion 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 reconstructed with turn lanes and traffic signals.
The highway will remain open during construction as this new 3-mile segment will be built on a new alignment just east of the existing roadway, however ODOT strongly urges motorists to find alternate routes, such as I-35, to help alleviate congestion. The contract includes financial incentives for early completion of the work, which is expected to take more than one year.
State Highway 74 was first widened to four lanes with a center turn lane between 206th St. (Covell Rd.) and Waterloo Rd. beginning in the mid-2000s to address major bridge deficiencies. An interim traffic improvement project to add dedicated turn lanes at N.W. 150th St., N.W. 164th St and N.W. 178th St. was completed in 2013. In 2016, ODOT completed widening of SH-74 from Memorial Rd. to north of N.W. 164th St., including construction of a brand-new interchange with a bridge and ramps at N.W. 150th St. and new service roads between Memorial Rd. and N.W. 164th St. Including this final phase, the total estimated cost to expand the SH-74 corridor in this area is nearly $136 million.
At its Monday, Dec. 4 meeting, the Oklahoma Transportation Commission voted to award a contract to construct the two remaining core sections of the Oklahoma City Boulevard between Western Ave. and Shields Blvd./E.K. Gaylord Blvd. in downtown Oklahoma City. This rendering shows the new roadway looking east from Hudson Ave.
Thanks to action by the Oklahoma Transportation Commission at its Monday, Dec. 4, meeting, SH-74 (Portland Ave.) will be reconstructed and widened to a four-lane divided highway from just north of N.W. 164th St. to N.W. 206th St. (Covell Rd.) in northwest Oklahoma City, completing the Oklahoma Department of Transportation’s expansion of the corridor.
(Editors and News Directors: For more information, call the ODOT Media and Public Relations Division at 405-521-6000.)