I-40/Garth Brooks Blvd. interchange due update

Southbound thru lane, new turn lanes proposed

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Joe Davis

By Conrad Dudderar
Associate Editor

An updated Interstate 40/Garth Brooks Boulevard interchange will be designed to improve traffic flow along this busy traffic corridor.

Yukon city engineer Joe Davis, president of TEIM Design, detailed planned improvements during the Yukon City Council’s Sept. 19th work session.

Plans call for installation of:

  • New southbound thru lane (fifth lane) with curb and gutter from Andrew Drive to Health Center Parkway on Garth Brooks Boulevard.
  • Dual southbound left turn lanes, northbound right turn lane and eastbound dual right turn lanes at the eastbound I-40 ramps.
  • Dual westbound left turn lanes and westbound extension of the right turn lane at the westbound I-40 ramps.

“That will be wonderful when it’s done,” Yukon Mayor Shelli Selby said. “It looks great; can’t wait for it to get started!”

Davis estimated construction will be in 2025-26 after all designs, utility relocation and right-of-way acquisition are completed.

This is a “unique” project recently added to ODOT’s eight-year program, he told council members.

“We are trying to look at not only pedestrian safety; we also recognize we have traffic backups under peak times at different locations,” Davis said.

“Our p.m. traffic issues are the people who are going westbound on I-40. … same thing for the a.m. traffic southbound on Garth Brooks when they’re trying to go eastbound on I-40.”

Cost estimate is $3.2 million for the proposed state project.

The Oklahoma Department of Transportation will pay 90% ($2,888,000) for the construction and utility relocation with Yukon paying 10% ($320,000) for design services and any right-of-way acquisition.

The Yukon City Council on Sept. 19 approved a project agreement between the City of Yukon and ODOT for “improvements and modifications to the interchange” at Garth Brooks Boulevard and I-40.

ODOT “will recommend approval of the project by the Federal Highway Administration”, according to the agreement.

Meanwhile, a Transportation Alternatives Program (TAP) grant – awarded to the City of Yukon through ODOT – will be used to fund construction of a new pedestrian trail and retaining walls on the west side of Garth Brooks Boulevard along this I-40 corridor. A portion of the trail will be underneath the I-40 bridge.

Cost estimate is $864,000 for this project, with Yukon covering 20% of the total.

Engineer Davis called this a “fantastic” project.

“There will be a few lane closures when the concrete trucks are out doing the pouring,” he said.

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OVERLAY PROJECT

The first Garth Brooks Boulevard project – expected to be constructed in 2024 – will be further north on Yukon’s bustling retail throughfare.

“We’re having to make sure the funds are in place before we get started,” Davis told the city council.

Federal grant funds awarded to the City of Yukon will cover the primary share of a resurfaced pavement project between Vandament Avenue and State Highway 66 (Main Street).

The work will include an asphalt mill and inlay, base repair and crack sealing.

The project contractor will “mill off a couple inches of the existing asphalt, but a new surface course down and that will take care of any cracking and rutting in the existing street there,” Davis explained.

“Once asphalt begins cracking and rutting, it starts deteriorating the base. Luckily, we’re catching this before we have major base repairs to do.”

New striping will be installed on the new street surface.

Estimated cost is $1,009,600, with most being covered with Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations Act (CRRSAA) funds. Yukon will pay $89,600.

That federal program provides $14 billion to support the transit industry during the COVID-19 public health emergency.

“This is a fantastic grant that the city was awarded,” Davis said. “The CRRSAA grant was part of the COVID relief funds. This is a one-time funding source that went out to a lot of municipalities.”

The street will remain open during construction, he added.

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