Highway 4 project delayed (again)

Contractor bid opening taken off ODOT schedule due to ‘ongoing’ utility issue

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By Conrad Dudderar
Staff Writer

Construction on the second phase of the State Highway 4 project in Yukon has again been pushed back – at least several more months.

The Oklahoma Department of Transportation (ODOT) had originally set a November 2021 “bid letting” for contractors interested in reconstructing SH-4 from SH-66 (Main Street) to just north of Wagner Road.

The bid opening date was then moved to February to give ODOT engineers more time to finalize design plans. At that time, construction was expected to start in late spring 2022.

The project has now been taken off the bid schedule.

“It’s been delayed due to a utility issue that’s ongoing,” ODOT spokeswoman Lisa Shearer-Salim said. “A utility still needs to be moved. We’re working through the process.

“We don’t even have a month scheduled (but) it definitely will not be ‘let’ within the next six months. It could be this fall, potentially, before it’s let.”

After bids are solicited, the Oklahoma Transportation Commission must approve the contractor for SH-4 phase two construction.

A contract award is typically made the month after bids are opened.

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$13M COST ESTIMATE

The winning ODOT contractor will rebuild a 1-1/2-mile stretch of SH-4 from Main Street north past Wagner Road. Turn lanes will be added at the Wagner Road intersection.

Estimated construction cost is nearly $13 million, to be paid with an even split of federal and state funds.

Drivers will be encouraged to plan “extra time” and practice patience while traveling in this area during an estimated 12-month construction.

The City of Yukon has already paid contractors for sanitary sewer line ($1,251,264.30) and water line ($535,952) utility relocation in preparation for SH-4 phase two construction. Yukon also covered right-of-way acquisition costs.

In a memo to Yukon city officials, city engineer Joe Davis wrote the recent SH-4 bid letting delay was “due to private utility relocations.”

Highway 4 is being rebuilt and widened in three phases, the first two in Yukon city limits.

ODOT contractor Manhattan Road & Bridge in spring 2021 finished the $13.1 million first phase, between Wilshire and Wagner Road. This featured a new “super two-lane” road with wide shoulders and a new bridge.

A third phase of SH-4 construction, from Wilshire to N.W. Expressway (SH-3), is on ODOT’s 2023 construction schedule. Estimated cost is $11.5 million.