By Conrad Dudderar
The Oklahoma Transportation Commission next week will consider hiring a contractor to construct a permanent upgrade to the State Highway 66/Banner Road intersection.
Six companies submitted bid proposals that were opened Sept. 14 at Oklahoma Department of Transportation (ODOT) headquarters.
Apparent low bidder was Haskell Lemon Group, which submitted a $696,832.15 price – more than 23% below the engineer’s $907,830 estimate.
“This project will update the current interchange of SH-66 and Banner Road,” ODOT spokesman Bryce Boyer said. “We are looking to put down new striping along the road to enhance visibility, install new signs, as well as install new lighting fixtures to improve lighting throughout the interchange.
“It will remain a four-way stop, with traffic narrowed on SH-66. The project is estimated to take 90 days.”
Three other contractors were below the ODOT engineer’s estimate – Schiralli Construction ($742,158.96), Silver Star Construction ($759,990) and Ellsworth Construction ($799,160.90).
The other two bidders came in above the estimate – Rudy Construction ($979,768.80) and Allen Contracting/Shell Construction ($1,167,375).
The SH-66/Banner Road intersection, between El Reno and Yukon, has been a temporary four-way stop for more than 3-1/2 years after Yukon businessman Ray Lee Davis was killed there in a November 2019 traffic collision.
ODOT made “interim” improvements in early 2020 that includes rumble strips, barricades and flashing lights in response to that fatal crash.
The Oklahoma Transportation Commission, at its Monday, Oct. 2nd meeting, will consider awarding the bid for a contractor to complete the permanent intersection upgrade.
The Banner Road intersection is on a state roadway in Canadian County District 1.
Before the temporary improvements were made in 2020, the SH-66/Banner Road intersection had been the site of many serious traffic collisions over the previous quarter century.
“We’re so excited about going forward with this project at Banner Road and 66,” District 1 Commissioner Tom Manske said this week. “This is the first step in a multi-year project.
“We’re also going to eventually work on the roads going north and south of the 66 intersection.”
Commissioner Manske has been working with ODOT officials to make this intersection a priority since he took office in January. He was pleased with the competitive bid process.
The initial project cost to install a permanent four-way stop with striping, signs and lighting was $400,000.
“When we saw the (ODOT) engineer’s estimate, we were a little bit in shock,” Manske said. “With four of the bids coming in under the estimate by anywhere from 15 to 25 percent, that really excited us.”
Canadian County’s District 1 commissioner hopes the work can be done by the end of 2023.
“This is going to make it a safer intersection for the traveling public,” Manske said.
The Freeze & Nichols engineering firm designed the project.
Two other design alternatives were considered – a single-lane roundabout and new traffic signals.