By Conrad Dudderar
The horrid condition of a major street in northeast Yukon has motorists demanding action.
Yukon-area residents who regularly travel Wilshire Boulevard between State Highway 4 (Piedmont Road) and the Kilpatrick Turnpike are tired of the wear and tear on their vehicles. They are seeking safer, smoother passage.
This stretch of Wilshire has been bad for years and seems to be getting worse, residents and local officials agree.
It is even more noticeable since phase one of the SH-4 project – between Wilshire and Wagner Road in Yukon – was recently completed.
The condition of Wilshire between Highway 4 and the turnpike is “horrible”, according to Yukon’s Linda Burgett.
“There is going to be a head-on collision from people trying to avoid the giant potholes – especially in the westbound lane,” said Burgett, who lives in the Cottonwood Farms Addition.
Burgett, who travels the route daily to her job, says her tires already need replacing after two years – although they are rated for five years. With a new school year starting in August, she hopes improvements will be made to this “dangerous stretch” of Wilshire.
Yukon Public Schools’ new Redstone Intermediate School, which opened in October 2020, is just north of Wilshire at Mustang and Britton roads.
Several neighbors also posted comments on the neighborhood Facebook page.
Barbara Laird wrote, “I am having to have my car aligned because of the many potholes.”
Andrea Hampton added, “Near runs-ins with oncoming traffic to avoid hitting them! It’s terrible!!”
And Jennifer EchoHawk called the size of potholes on Wilshire “insane.”
The cities of Yukon and Oklahoma City share responsibility for maintenance along Wilshire.The north side of Wilshire is in Oklahoma City and the south side is in Yukon – all the way from Richland Road to Sara Road. Wilshire east from Sara Road is entirely Oklahoma City’s responsibility.
‘TOP THREE’ PRIORITY
Oklahoma City’s new Ward 1 City Council member, Bradley Carter, said Wilshire is “one of my top three roads to get fixed” – but he is unsure how quickly a resurfacing project will be funded.
Soon after taking office three months ago, Carter shared with Oklahoma City department directors his “wish list”. This stretch of Wilshire was near the top.
While temporary repairs and pothole fixes will continue, Carter pointed out that “nothing has been funded just yet” to provide a significant upgrade.
“I’m trying to get ‘undesignated’ funds released for it, but that’s more of a process than it sounds,” he said.
The first-year Oklahoma City councilman noted this part of Wilshire “has gotten that much worse” lately especially with heavy trucks traveling to and from the state transportation department’s SH-4 construction project.
“That did not help,” he said.
Carter is committed to working with District 1 Canadian County Commissioner Marc Hader and Yukon city officials to study options for a long-term improvement.
“We need to get everybody on board,” he added.
Acknowledging this stretch of Wilshire Road is “terrible,” Commissioner Hader said he would not commit county funds to make improvements. The county commissioner has previously provided his personnel to help Yukon and Oklahoma City with roadwork.
Hader has suggested Oklahoma City and Yukon city officials propose a Wilshire Road improvement project through the Association of Central Oklahoma Governments (ACOG), which could provide federal funds with a local “match.”
“It’s a two-lane road, it’s in bad shape and probably needs to be raised in some places,” said Hader, Canadian County’s representative on the ACOG board. “I don’t know if it needs any major drainage structure.
“It should be done right. It needs to at least be widened to three lanes, at the intersection, so there can be turn lanes.”
In fact, Commissioner Hader believes Wilshire should be widened to four lanes from the Kilpatrick Turnpike to “at least to Highway 4” to match what was done east of the turnpike.