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Traffic Talk: Road construction should ease Hefner Parkway bottleneck

Don Gammill: Future construction should help ease bottleneck on north side of Hefner Parkway where it ends at NW 150.
By DON GAMMILL Published: June 4, 2012

Easy to say, tough to do, but being patient is generally a good idea when you come upon a traffic bottleneck.

The single biggest traffic bottleneck in the state has to be where the north end of the six-lane Hefner Parkway meets a two-lane, rural, shoulderless blacktop road at NW150. Contrast that with a vast, beautiful, little-used four-lane highway from Tuttle to Mustang and a similar freeway to our east in the Shawnee region. I know road building is a county issue, but can't we find a way to put the concrete where it's needed?

Thomas, Oklahoma City

Here's an update, Thomas, from Cole Hackett in the Media & Public Relations Division of the Oklahoma Department of Transportation:

“While the next State Highway 74 projects are currently scheduled to take place several years out, if funding were to become available, these projects may be moved forward in our 8-year construction plan.

“Normally, we start in the section of a corridor that has the highest traffic volumes. However, the overall SH 74 corridor reconstruction between Memorial Road and Waterloo Road began at the north end to address much needed bridge replacements along SH 74 between Covell Road and Waterloo Road.

“ODOT felt it was crucial to replace the bridges in the northernmost two sections of the SH 74 corridor as soon as possible.

“Two past projects have reconstructed, upgraded traffic signals and widened SH 74 to five lanes from N 206 (Covell Road) north to N 248 (Waterloo Road).

“Currently, the next project is scheduled to go out for bids in 2015 and will widen SH 74 to four lanes between Memorial Road and just north of N 164 (15th Street, Edmond) and will also reconstruct the SH 74 interchange at N 150 (33rd Street, Edmond). This project is estimated to cost approximately $30 million.

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