By Conrad Dudderar
Plans are moving ahead to upgrade an intersection on Yukon’s east side, with the goal to reduce traffic congestion.
City officials often hear complaints from motorists about the area of Yukon Parkway and Vandament Avenue.
Proposed improvements were detailed this week for the intersection, which has three quadrants in Yukon city limits and one quadrant (southeast corner) in Oklahoma City limits.
Joe Davis, president of the city’s engineering firm TEIM Design, presented the proposal during the Nov. 7th Yukon City Council work session. Estimated cost is $790,000.
“We do not have dedicated left turns there,” Davis said. “We do have the one dedicated right-hand turn for eastbound traffic on Vandament.”
Traffic Engineering Consultants performed a study that confirmed left-hand turns are needed at the Yukon Parkway/Vandament intersection.
The proposed project includes pedestrian access on all four corners with sidewalks and crosswalks.
To keep costs down, Yukon’s city engineers have proposed a new lane configuration that will minimize right-of-way acquisition, utility relocation and impact to drainage.
Davis emphasized the project’s $790,000 “conceptual cost opinion” is preliminary because survey and design work must be done.
The Yukon Parkway/Vandament Avenue intersection improvements would be funded through Yukon’s capital projects budget.
In Yukon city limits, Yukon Parkway is four lanes both north and south of Vandament – and Vandament is four lanes west of Yukon Parkway.
But N.W. 23rd Street east of Yukon Parkway – which is inside Oklahoma City’s corporate boundaries – is just two lanes.
“We contacted Oklahoma City in the past month and ask them if they have any plans for doing any widening on 23rd Street,” Davis told council members. “They don’t have anything in the near future to change the existing configuration.”
Yukon would have to modify the intersection if Oklahoma City ultimately decided to four-lane this section of roadway.
“That’s a very well-traveled road,” Yukon Mayor Shelli Selby said of 23rd Street. “I wish they (Oklahoma City) would keep up their part.”
Selby asked how long the Yukon Parkway/Vandament intersection project would take to complete.
Davis acknowledged it would be 2025. He estimated six months for the design process, at least six months to move utilities and eight months for construction.
City engineer Davis also presented a plan to improve drainage in the Kingsridge Addition during his Nov. 7th presentation to Yukon City Council members
This neighborhood, on Yukon’s east edge, needs a larger drainage structure because of west Oklahoma City’s housing growth.
The proposal is to install a 5-foot-wide by 4-foot-deep reinforced concrete box off Westminster Lane, east of Camelot Drive. Estimated cost is $360,000.
An existing five-foot drainage ditch – which includes a grate, concrete flume and pipe – is no longer sufficient.
“The structures there are too small,” Davis explained.
This has caused drainage issues in a newer Oklahoma City housing development directly east.
“The city (of Yukon) accepted the improvements with the (Kingsridge) plat, so these are city facilities now,” Davis said. “There’s just been an awful lot that’s occurred in this basin recently that’s enhanced what the problem is.”
The Kingsridge drainage improvements will require moving utilities and obtaining temporary construction easements. Davis noted this will be a “difficult project” because work must be done in back yards that are close to houses.
Although this project was not budgeted, Yukon City Manager Tammy Kretchmar said there will be capital funds to pay for this work and the Yukon Parkway/Vandament intersection upgrade.