By Conrad Dudderar
Construction crews are making progress on two major state highway projects in Yukon.
And newly released drone photos provided by the Oklahoma Department of Transportation (ODOT) provide a birds-eye view of the roadwork on Yukon’s west and north sides.
The state transportation department’s drone camera recently captured aerial photos of the future Frisco Road/Interstate 40 interchange and State Highway 4 construction.
ODOT contractors are working on the roadway projects in Yukon city limits.
The new Frisco Road interchange at I-40-mile marker 135 is “still on target for a late fall completion”, ODOT spokeswoman Lisa Shearer-Salim said.
Traffic lanes shifted and speed limits are reduced in the Frisco Road/I-40 work zone.
The new bridge over I-40 and approaches are being built by Sherwood Construction through a $14,061,010 state contract. ODOT is paying 65% of the construction cost, with the City of Yukon’s share covering the other 35% of the price tag. Yukon contributed other funds for engineering design, right-of-way purchase and utility relocation.
Sherwood was selected in June 2020 among five bidders for the Frisco Road/I-40 interchange project, submitting a low bid some $2.7 million below the engineer’s estimate.
The City of Yukon previously reconstructed Frisco Road to a four-lane roadway from I-40 north of State Highway 66 to accommodate economic development along the corridor.
Adding this I-40 interchange at Frisco Road “will help alleviate traffic congestion” at the Garth Brooks Boulevard interchange and N Cimarron Road interchange, according to Shearer-Salim.
The project also will improve safety by “providing more access” to the nearby INTEGRIS Canadian Valley Hospital and commercial development, she added.
Current average daily traffic count along I-40 near the future interchange is about 46,000.
SH-4 is being reconstructed and widened as a “super two-lane” – with new shoulders, bridges and intersections – in three phases.
The first two phases are in Yukon city limits.
Manhattan Road & Bridge is finishing up the first phase of the SH-4 project between Wilshire and Wagner Road.
The $13.1 million phase one construction features a new bridge at the North Canadian River and new intersection at Wilshire.
The SH-4 project is substantially complete.
“At this point, the contractor is working on punch-list items including some additional signage, sod and other items to wrap up,” Shearer-Salim reported.
SH-4 construction is paid with federal and state funding. The City of Yukon contributed to right-of-way purchase and utility relocation costs.
The state roadway has remained open to traffic during construction, although the speed limit has been reduced from 45 mph to 35 mph.
Construction on the SH-4 project’s second phase, from SH-66 north to Wagner Road, will cost an estimated $13 million.
ODOT is due to solicit contractor bids for phase two this November with construction in 2022.
The City of Yukon also is responsible for a portion of phase two right-of-way acquisition and utility relocation costs.
A third phase, from Wilshire to State Highway 3/Northwest Expressway, in Oklahoma City limits, is on ODOT’s 2023 construction list.
Estimated cost is $11.5 million.