By Conrad Dudderar
One more hurdle in the process was cleared July 24 when Canadian County Commissioners approved a resolution for “intersection modifications” at Banner Road and State Highway 66.
The project agreement for Job Piece Number 34752(04) is between Canadian County District 1 and the Oklahoma Department of Transportation.
The estimated $400,000 project is on ODOT’s September bid letting schedule.
The resolution outlines ODOT’s engineering, land acquisition and construction responsibilities.
The intersection will become a permanent four-way stop, District 1 County Commissioner Tom Manske said.
Interim safety improvements – featuring a four-way stop with flashing red beacons in all directions – were made in February 2020 in response to a fatal traffic collision.
“People are now used to that,” Manske said of motorists having to stop at the intersection. “There haven’t been any accidents reported there since then.”
Yukon businessman Ray Lee Davis, 73, was killed in November 2019 while riding his motorcycle eastbound on Highway 66. He was struck and killed by a semi-truck turning left from Banner Road.
The SH-66/Banner Road intersection had been the site of dozens of serious traffic collisions – including several deadly crashes – over several decades.
Before February 2020, only traffic on Banner Road was required to stop at the intersection and there was no control for eastbound and westbound traffic on SH-66.
As part of the temporary upgrades 2-1/2 years ago, one approach lane was closed while rumble stripes and advance warning signs were installed.
This fall, ODOT is expected to hire a contractor to make the permanent intersection modifications at Banner Road and Highway 66.
ODOT intends to repave and restripe the intersection, installing new rumble strips and creating more lighting in the area.
Sixty calendar days have been allotted for the project, which Commissioner Manske hopes will be finished by the end of 2023.
ODOT officials previously studied two other design alternatives – a single-lane roundabout and fully signalized intersection, both of which would have been much more costly.
Temporary barricades and traffic cones will be removed once the permanent upgrades are completed to the Banner Road/SH-66 intersection.
Canadian County has agreed to pay for utility services to the current fixture at the intersection.
ODOT is responsible for this project since Highway 66 is a state roadway.
Commissioner Manske this week reiterated his desire to make other traffic safety improvements on Banner Road north and south of the intersection.
ODDS ‘N ENDS …
Among other business at their weekly meeting July 24, Canadian County Commissioners approved:
- Annual contracts with Creek and Rogers counties to utilize detention bed space at the Canadian County Children’s Justice Center.
- Annual contracts with Dr. Ami Siems to provide medical services and Swift Rock LLC to provide nursing services at the Children’s Justice Center.
- Tabling for one week awarding a bid for drug testing kits at the Children’s Justice Center. Three bids were opened, ranging from $1.67 to $3.49 per test.
- An agreement to lease-purchase a John Deere 5100E cab utility tractor from P&K Equipment for the Canadian County Expo & Event Center. Interest rate through John Deere Financial is 4.8% for 36 months.
- An annual agreement with IATSE (International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees) Local 112 to provide temporary contact labor at the Expo & Event Center. IATSE members offer “manual labor” for events about four to six times a year, according to Expo Center Interim Director Mandy Davis.
- An agreement between the Canadian County Sheriff’s Office and King Property LLC to lease real property on S Shepard in El Reno for the sheriff’s narcotics investigators.
- An agreement with Purple Wave to conduct an online auction to sell surplus and seized vehicles for the Sheriff’s Office, while authorizing sheriff’s staff to electronically sign contracts for future auctions.
- A resolution to dispose of county equipment as surplus for the Sheriff’s Office – a male German Shepherd K9 who died from natural causes.
Undersheriff Ward presented the weekly county jail report showing an inmate population totaling 214, with 189 prisoners at the El Reno detention center and 25 others housed in contracted counties.
The total count is up two from last week as 43 prisoners await transfer to state Department of Corrections’ custody.