By Carol Mowdy Bond
The official ground breaking for the I-40/Frisco Road interchange project took place the evening of Tuesday, October 6. Work on the new Interstate 40 interchange in Yukon actually began in September right after the Labor Day weekend. The Frisco Road bridge over I-40 was removed, and now a new bridge is being built. The new I-40 interchange will be at mile marker 135, one mile west of Garth Brooks Boulevard.
Yukon’s mayor and city council members were present, as were Rick Howland who is the construction engineer for District IV, Jonathan Brooks who is the Yukon residential engineer for the Oklahoma Department of Transportation, Zach Holp who is the project manager, and Shawn Riblet who is the project inspector.
The project has caused Frisco Road to be closed at I-40, and the closure will actually be from 10th Street north to Vandament. Oklahoma Department of Transportation spokeswoman Lisa Shearer-Salim said Frisco Road is closed at I-40, and “that closure will 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. We’re excited that we’re finally at this stage to get moving on it. This should be a significant ‘reliever’ route once it’s in.”
Motorists 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.
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.
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 contactor has 360 days to complete the project.
ODOT is funding 65% of the construction cost, and the City of Yukon is covering 35% of the tab.