By Conrad Dudderar
A Warr Acres company has earned a $10 million contract to build a new roundabout just north of Interstate 40 in El Reno.
The Oklahoma Transportation Commission, at its Sept. 11th meeting, awarded a $10,030,072.14 “low bid” to Redlands Contracting LLC for the State Highway 66/US-81 intersection modification project.
“This is going to let us really improve traffic conditions between I-40 and the intersection of US-81/SH-66,” Oklahoma Transportation Secretary Tim Gatz said.
“We believe adding a roundabout in this area will improve traffic flow and enhance safety, which is exactly what we need to do.”
Construction will likely start in late 2023 or early 2024.
“We will know more once our pre-work conference with the contractor happens,” said Bryce Boyer, spokesman for the Oklahoma Department of Transportation.
The contract was awarded to Redlands Contracting after ODOT officials reviewed three bids submitted for the SH-66/US-81 project. All proposals were well above the engineer’s $8,653,424.90 cost estimate.
Other contractors seeking the work were Rudy Construction Co. ($11,440,009.92) and Schwarz Paving Co. ($11,536,152.29). Bids were opened Aug. 17 at ODOT headquarters.
Some 480 calendar days have been allotted for the project.
A roundabout is among engineering innovations being implemented by ODOT, and this will be its first in Canadian County.
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.
“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.”
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.