By Conrad Dudderar
Senior Staff Writer
Work on a new Interstate 40 interchange in Yukon will start right after the Labor Day weekend.
A contractor will begin setting up the work zone Tuesday, Sept. 8 so construction can begin on the much-anticipated Interstate 40/Frisco Road interchange.
“We anticipate Frisco Road being closed at I-40 starting September 14,” Oklahoma Department of Transportation spokeswoman Lisa Shearer-Salim said. “That closure will actually be from 10th Street north to Vandament.
“They’ll also close NW 23rd to through traffic from Richland Road east to Frisco Road. Those will be the immediate traffic impacts. You won’t see lane closures on I-40 until late September when they start demolition on the Frisco Road bridge.”
The Oklahoma Transportation Commission, at its July 6 meeting, awarded a $14,061,010.28 contract to Sherwood Construction of Tulsa to build the interchange. The contractor has 360 days to complete the project.
ODOT is funding 65% of the construction cost, with the City of Yukon covering 35% of the tab.
The new I-40 interchange will be at mile marker 135, one mile west of Garth Brooks Boulevard.
“It’s going to be a great project and we’re excited that we’re finally at this stage to get moving on it,” Shearer-Salim said. “This should be a significant ‘reliever’ route once it’s in.”
Sherwood Construction’s bid was nearly $2.7 million below the engineer’s $16,738,908.02 estimate. Four other companies submitted bids for the work.
Motorists traveling along W Vandament Avenue are advised to use extra caution as they drive through the area.
Although Vandament won’t be closed during the interchange project, the street will see a significant increase in construction traffic.
ALL ABOUT ACCESS
The average daily traffic count is almost 46,000 along I-40 near the site of the future Frisco Road interchange.
Besides alleviating traffic congestion at the Garth Brooks Boulevard and North Cimarron Road interchanges, the new Frisco Road interchange will provide additional access to INTEGRIS Canadian Valley Hospital.
City of Yukon officials expect considerable development along Frisco Road as construction progresses on the interchange. They envision hotels, restaurants and other sales tax-generating retailers to build along Frisco Road in Yukon city limits.
The new interchange will be built in Canadian County Commissioner Jack Stewart’s district.
The District 3 county commissioner said motorists will be able to travel on Frisco Road from State Highway 66 to Vandament by the City of Yukon’s water tower.
But Frisco Road traffic on the south side of I-40 – in Oklahoma City limits – will have to travel south to 10th Street to exit, Stewart noted.
“That section of Frisco Road is technically a paved road, but it’s in such bad shape,” he said. “Oklahoma City has made an effort to fill in the potholes but there’s an edge washout that makes it dangerous.”