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Traffic Talk: Cost prohibited Edmond from widening Covell Road to Santa Fe

Don Gammill: Expense on Covell Road project prohibited doing bridges, intersection work at same time, Edmond city official says
By Don Gammill, Staff Writer Modified: May 25, 2014 at 6:26 pm •  Published: May 26, 2014

Happy Memorial Day, everyone. Here’s hoping you’ll have a great — and safe — one.

As the school year ends and the vacation season picks up, we all need to be more careful as we travel. Whether you’re on the road, in the air, on a ship, or simply around the house, pay attention.

That’s especially true in areas where crews are, or have been working on roadways. Even those where the work has been finished can be a hazard if you aren’t prepared for any changes that might have been made.

Here’s one such area where significant work was done.

Can you find out why they did not widen Covell Road all the way to Santa Fe when they did that big widening project? Since the new YMCA is there, traffic is backed up on Covell and Santa Fe for at least a quarter of a mile. At least. There is not even a right turn lane or a left turn signal on that light. The widening stops right at the westernmost entrance to my housing addition. This is only a short distance to that Covell-Santa Fe intersection. Are there plans to finish this, and wouldn't it have been cheaper to do this all at once? Also, there is a school at the corner of Covell and Kelly Avenue, so at the right time of day, this backup is a real problem for anyone thinking they want to go west.

— Ken

Here’s your answer, Ken, from Edmond’s city planner in the Engineering Department, Tom Minnick.

“We would have loved to include this intersection with the recent improvements to Covell,” Minnick said, “however, the cost prohibited that from occurring.

“There are three bridges that need to be redesigned to handle the storm water. ... We cannot rebuild one without rebuilding all three at the same time due to them all being on the same Chisholm Creek drainage basin.

“The cost to include three new bridges and lane improvements were more money than we had at the time.

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