By Conrad Dudderar
A new roundabout is coming to Canadian County.
The Oklahoma Department of Transportation (ODOT) plans to install a roundabout on U.S. Highway 81 at the State Highway 66 intersection in El Reno.
A roundabout is among engineering innovations being implemented by ODOT.
Drivers slow down as they approach an intersection with a roundabout, but don’t come to a complete stop.
A roundabout creates less “stop-and-go” traffic because vehicles do not stop, according to ODOT spokesman Bryce Boyer.
“You’re not sitting there waiting at stop signs, you’re not sitting there waiting at stop lights,” Boyer said. “You have a more continuous flow of traffic.”
Engineer’s estimate for the “intersection modification” project was $8,653,424.90.
Three contractors submitted bid proposals that were opened Aug. 17 at ODOT headquarters.
All three bids were well above the cost estimate:
- Redlands Contracting LLC – $10,030,072.14 (+15.9%)
- Rudy Construction Co. – $11,440,009.92 (+32.2%)
- Schwarz Paving Co. – $11,536,152.29 (+33.3%)
The nine-member Oklahoma Transportation Commission will meet Sept. 11 to consider either awarding or rejecting bids.
“If it gets approved, we’ll start the pre-work for it to figure out the start date,” Boyer said.
“If they were to reject it, we’ll look into why they were rejecting it, what the issues were, and put it back out for bid in two to three months.”
Some 480 calendar days have been allotted for the project.
“It will be a long-term project – about a year and a half,” Boyer said. “At the end of the day, it will provide a safer intersection for people traveling through the area.”
ODOT has completed one roundabout open in Weatherford, with a second being built in Tulsa and a third recently approved on State Highway 9. The El Reno roundabout will be the fourth – and a fifth has been proposed in the Edmond area.
“We’re seeing a lot of positives to roundabouts nationwide, and we think they can be a good option here in Oklahoma as well,” Boyer said.