Freedom Trail project moves into high gear

Playground, splash pad equipment to ship in August

Yukon Mayor Shelli Selby speaks after City Manager Tammy Kretchmar provided updates at the July 18th city council meeting about capital projects – including the new Freedom Trail Playground and Splash Pad. (Photo by Conrad Dudderar)

By Conrad Dudderar
Staff Writer

Several months after ground was broken, construction is ratcheting up on Yukon’s “new” inclusive playground and water spray ground.

Yukon City Manager Tammy Kretchmar provided updates on several capital projects in a report at the July 18th city council meeting.

Noteworthy among them is the Freedom Trail Playground and Splash Pad.

“The concrete and dirt work is currently underway,” Kretchmar said. “The playground and splash pad equipment is tentatively scheduled for shipment from the manufacturer in August – Aug. 21 for the splash pad and Aug. 31 for the playground equipment.”

The City of Yukon hosted an official ground-breaking ceremony March 7 for this project near Mulvey Pond in Yukon City Park, 2100 S Holly across from Shedeck Elementary School.

Rudy Construction was awarded a $1,682,221.28 contract to install state-of-the-art play equipment and a water feature. A $400,000 federal Land & Water Conservation Fund grant will cover about 23.7% of the cost.

Freedom Trail – a playground designed for people of all ages and abilities – has been closed to the public since spring 2022 when crews demolished the old play structures and related items.

Over the years, the popular Yukon playground had deteriorated and required significant maintenance. Many pieces of broken equipment couldn’t be repaired or replaced.

A volunteer committee chaired by Yukon’s Diana Hale coordinated the design and construction of Freedom Trail Playground in the mid-‘90s.

Freedom Trail was one of only two “all-inclusive” playgrounds in Oklahoma when it opened in 1996 at Yukon City Park. It was designed as a place where people of all ages and abilities could come together to play.

Other committee members were Carole Garner, Dee Blose, Melody Duty, Charles Brandley, Debbie Cain, and Bob Schwaninger.

Several original members worked with Yukon city staff and a landscape architect to help design the “new” Freedom Trail.

The updated playground will be about the same size as the previous one.

The surface will be a combination of pour-in-place rubber coating and artificial turf.

This project will include installation of Yukon’s second splash pad, the first having opened in May 2014 at Sunrise Park.



Also during the July 18th Yukon City Council meeting, CM Kretchmar updated the public about an ongoing pipe “bursting” project.

Brewer Construction Oklahoma has completed 2,135 feet with another 2,057 feet remaining, as the City of Yukon contractor repairs sewer line failures at four locations along five city streets.

Pipe bursting is done to limit how much residents’ back yards must be dug up to replace old, clay sewer lines.

Sections of sewer pipe are replaced from manhole to manhole.

Yukon city officials agreed to use American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) federal stimulus funds to cover the $405,300.70 cost.

Coming up next will be a heating venting and air conditioning (HVAC) replacement at the Dale Robertson Center, 1200 Lakeshore.

Hardesty Team Company recently was awarded a $338,900 contract for this system upgrade.

Design phases have started on several transportation projects partially funded through federal grants – asphalt overlay of Garth Brooks Boulevard from Vandament to Highway 66, new sidewalks along Main Street and multimodal trails on sections of Yukon Parkway and Garth Brooks Boulevard.

Upcoming projects including resurfacing a section of Wagner Road on Yukon’s east side, Frisco Road sewer extension, Yukon Parkway/Vandament intersection upgrades, and Health Center Parkway drainage improvements.