Oklahoma City engineers promised Wednesday they've learned lessons from the first wave of Project 180 street projects as the city prepares to award a $6.8 million contract to Rudy Construction to rebuild streets on the north side of the central business district.
Work will include reconstruction of Dean A. McGee between Robinson and Broadway, the NW 4 and Robinson intersection, Robinson between Park and Dean A. McGee, and Robert S. Kerr between Harvey and Broadway.
Project 180 is the rebuilding of downtown streets, parks and public spaces funded through a tax increment financing district formed with the construction of Devon Energy Center.
Businesses suffered during lengthy Project 180 street closings that occurred between 2009 and 2012, with some, including Tratoria Ill Centro, shutting down over loss of customers. Downtown commuters complained as they saw contractors, including Rudy Construction and Sherwood Construction, rip up streets only to leave job sites unattended for months before resuming work.
A committee tasked with overseeing Project 180 was told Wednesday that incentives for completing the work on time and disincentives for finishing late are included in new contracts. City Manager Jim Couch said the new contracts are drawn up to allow only one street at a time to be torn up before reconstruction can begin.
Even with such changes, Couch said, contractors still can encounter unexpected complications with utilities and basements.