By Conrad Dudderar
Significant growth on Yukon’s west side is anticipated as a state transportation contractor finishes up the Frisco Road interchange.
Sherwood Construction of Tulsa has been working since late summer 2020 on the new interchange at Interstate 40-mile marker 135.
“It definitely will help Yukon expand to the west,” said Jacob Parker, project superintendent for Sherwood Construction.
Parker recently allowed The Yukon Progress access atop the new bridge overlooking I-40. The overpass and on- and off-ramps are substantially complete; contractor crews still must finish signage, striping, sidewalks, and guardrails.
The Oklahoma Department of Transportation (ODOT) in July 2020 awarded Sherwood a $14,061,010.28 contract to build the Frisco Road/I-40 interchange – one mile west of Garth Brooks Boulevard.
This ODOT interchange project was a 320-day contract. With “weather days” due to severe storms, the contract was extended until mid-September.
But Sherwood’s project superintendent is confident the interchange will be completed earlier than that.
“We’re aiming for Labor Day,” Parker said.
An official ribbon cutting ceremony to open the new interchange is set at 10 a.m. Friday, Aug. 27.
Parker is well pleased with the smooth construction progress, saying very few adjustments were needed to the original design.
Sherwood’s Parker has supervised the Frisco Road/I-40 interchange project along with Zach Holt, project manager with ODOT’s Division 4 Yukon Construction Residency. Holt also sees many positives with this new interchange.
“It won’t take long once it opens for this area to grow,” Holt said. “The most immediate impact will be to alleviate pressure at Garth Brooks Boulevard and at Czech Hall Road.”
Also pleased with the interchange construction progress is Yukon City Manager Tammy Kretchmar, who announced the ribbon cutting during a recent city council study session.
“Sherwood Construction has done a great job with this and they’re right on schedule,” Kretchmar told council members.
THE POSITIVE PARTNERSHIP
With the new interchange just weeks away from opening, Yukon city officials anticipate considerable economic development along N Frisco Road.
Yukon Mayor Shelli Selby is confident the interchange will create much-needed sales tax revenue for city coffers.
“With Oklahoma City encroaching all around us and taking some of our tax dollars, this area is needed more than ever,” Selby said.
City leaders and developers envision hotels, restaurants and other sales tax-generating retailers in Yukon city limits.
One business, Country Equipment, will open a new dealership just east of the interchange off W Vandament.
In anticipation of the improved highway access, the City of Yukon had widened Frisco Road to four lanes between I-40 and Main Street (SH-66).
ODOT Executive Director Tim Gatz previously referred to the “positive partnership” between state transportation officials and the City of Yukon is making the Frisco Road/I-40 interchange a reality.
ODOT and the City of Yukon are sharing the cost of the construction, with 65% in state funds and a 35% local match. The City of Yukon contributed to right-of-way acquisition, utility relocation and design.
This new interchange will alleviate a “real traffic congestion problem” at the Garth Brooks Boulevard interchange, Gatz noted.
“Canadian County is one of the fastest-growing counties in the State of Oklahoma,” he added.
Sherwood Construction’s bid to build the Frisco Road/I-40 interchange was nearly $2.7 million below the ODOT engineer’s $16,738,908.02 estimate. The final cost is expected to be about $14.1 million.
Four other companies submitted bids for Yukon’s new interchange – Duit Construction Co. ($14,494,704.95), Frontier Bridge Inc. ($15,177,957.50), Allen Contracting Inc./Shell Construction Inc. ($15,325,676.84), and Manhattan Road & Bridge Co. ($17,399,900).