City Manager Tony Rivera said El Reno's growth as an energy hub began last year when Schlumberger announced plans to build a new operations center there. Chesapeake and Halliburton followed suit, with a number of smaller companies expanding to handle additional business.
Rivera said the private sector is footing the bill for many of the infrastructure needs associated with the interchange project.
Transportation Secretary Gary Ridley said it is uncommon to add interchanges on Oklahoma's highways. This project was even more complicated because it is on an interstate, meaning federal officials had to sign off on it.
Ridley said the state was eager to get involved in the project when it was pitched by Chesapeake.
“This was an easy decision to make,” he said.
Ridley said the new interchange will improve access to a booming area while making it easier for drivers traveling through the area on I-40.
Work to widen Radio Road is under way now, while Ridley said construction of the new interchange likely will begin in the summer. It is expected to be complete by 2014.