Steep Yukon school drive due replacement

Small vehicles get ‘hung up’ at new driveway installed as part of trail project

Yukon Assistant City Manager Mitchell Hort

By Conrad Dudderar
Staff Writer

A new driveway installed in front of Yukon Middle School as part of Garth Brooks Boulevard sidewalk improvements will be removed and replaced.

“Low profile vehicles are ‘hanging up’ due to the slope of the drive,” Assistant City Manager Mitchell Hort explained.

The Yukon City Council, at its Nov. 16th meeting, voted 3-0 to replace the driveway as part of the Garth Brooks Trail project. This will cost $17,935.

Council Member Jeff Wootton abstained from voting.

A contractor will replace the school’s “driveway number two” after a request by Yukon Public Schools’ Superintendent Dr. Jason Simeroth.

An Oklahoma Department of Transportation (ODOT) contractor, Parathon Construction, began work in August on the $839,423.48 grant-supported Garth Brooks Trail project.

“This project is moving along quite well,” City Manager Tammy Kretchmar told council members. “We do have an issue with one of the drives. … We will address that.”

The problem with that driveway became apparent recently after it was installed as part of the project, according to Hort.

“The smaller cars are having problems at the bottom,” he explained. “It’s become a speed bump.”

The slope of the replacement driveway will be reduced from 8-9% to 6%.

“In fact, it’s going to be less than what it was before,” Hort noted.

Ward 4 City Council Member Aric Gilliland

Ward 4 City Council Member Aric Gilliland expressed concerns about the added project cost.

“I’m just totally dumbfounded that this has happened, and $18,000 is a lot of money,” Gilliland said. “It’s a big mistake.

“How are we going to make sure this doesn’t happen again?”

Once completed, the Garth Brooks Trail will be 1.033 miles of new multi-use trail and sidewalk on the east side of Garth Brooks Boulevard between Vandament and Main Street (Hwy 66).

The City of Yukon is paying a 20% local share of the $839,423.48 cost. The other 80% is covered through a federal grant.

Since ODOT controls this grant project, the department approved the design engineer’s original driveway profiles for the new Garth Brooks Trail.

Council Member Wootton questioned whether engineers had watched traffic before construction started to notice there already was an issue with that one drive.

The Garth Brooks Trail project features a 10-foot-wide concrete trail, landscaping and crosswalk improvements. Work is expected to be finished in early 2022.



In other business at their Nov. 16th meeting, Yukon City Council members approved:

  • Paying $95,902.18 to Chickasaw Telecom, Inc. for Internet and phone technology upgrades at Yukon City Hall offices. Five of 14 core network switches are “past end of life and support,” Yukon Information Technology Director Gary Cooper told council members. Previous technology improvements for Yukon Police and Yukon Fire were about $115,000 “under budget,” Cooper noted.
  • A preliminary plat for the Ashton Gray duplex development at 200 N Yukon Parkway, north of Main Street. The city council vote was 3-1, with Wootton the lone dissenter. The Yukon Planning Commission, which previously had recommended denying the project, recently voted 3-1 in favor after further deliberations.
  • Paying $23,565 to L3Harris Technologies to replace outdated 800 mhz portable radios and batteries for the Yukon Police Department. Funds were included in the fiscal year 2022 budget.
  • A revocable permit for Richard Russell Homes to install a sidewalk around an in-ground swimming pool that encroaches a 15-foot utility easement at a home on Abbeywood Place.
  • Denying a tort claim from Paul and Barbara Canales for a broken sewer line on W Platt. The Oklahoma Municipal Assurance Group found no liability on the City of Yukon’s part since the damage occurred on the residents’ property.