By Conrad Dudderar
A three-month construction project started this week to install left-turn lanes at one of Yukon’s busiest intersections.
A City of Yukon contractor will install the new turn lanes on Health Center Parkway/West End Pointe Drive at the intersection of Garth Brooks Boulevard south of Interstate 40.
This is along Yukon’s busy commercial corridor that has seen steady growth for two decades.
Yukon City Council members and other city officials participated in the Wednesday afternoon ceremony.
Yukon At-Large City Council Member Jeff Wootton said he pushed to get these left-turn lanes from Health Center Parkway/West End Pointe Drive onto Garth Brooks Boulevard “because it was just a matter of time before we had a death at that intersection.”
“People are excited,” Wootton said, referring to the positive response he’s heard from citizens. “With all the business growth in this area, this project is something that’s been needed for a long time for safety reasons.”
Ward 2 Council Member Shelli Selby said she “completely supports” the project and added it is “vital for the safety of our citizens.”
The inside eastbound lane on Health Center Parkway and the inside westbound lane of West End Pointe Drive have been narrowed to one lane for the installation of a third turn lane in both directions on Garth Brooks Boulevard.
Construction is expected to take about 90 days although the lanes “could be opened intermittently throughout the duration of the project,” according to Yukon Public Works’ officials.
City leaders proposed the project last summer because of frequent traffic “back-ups” for eastbound and westbound motorists on Health Center Parkway/West End Pointe Drive at the Garth Brooks Boulevard intersection.
Brewer Construction Oklahoma LLC was awarded a $293,572.55 contract to install the left-turn lanes. The project cost includes $107,658 for installation of two new traffic signal poles and removal of existing traffic signal poles.
The City of Yukon’s engineering consultant, Triad Design Group, developed construction plans for the project in Yukon’s well-traveled business district.
With so much development along Garth Brooks Boulevard south of I-40, Mayor Mike McEachern said this project is “badly” needed.
“These left-turn lanes are important to us, being responsive to our local traffic issues,” McEachern said. “They will help alleviate the traffic congestion somewhat, but I don’t expect major changes until the Frisco Road interchange opens.”
Construction on the Frisco Road/I-40 interchange is expected to start this summer and take an estimated 18-24 months to complete.