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Oklahoma weather speeds highway work

BY DIANA BALDWIN Modified: February 5, 2009 at 10:09 am •  Published: February 5, 2009
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The $30 million reconstruction of the Broadway Extension and Memorial Road interchange is four weeks ahead of schedule despite last week’s ice storm. Officials credit the otherwise mild winter.

The project started July 21 and was originally scheduled to be completed by the end of this year.

"Weather has played a huge role so far and could play a huge role yet,” said Terri Angier, a state Transportation Department spokeswoman. "They are moving as fast as they can, but it is too early to say when they will get done.”

The contract has incentives to finish the job early. For the overall project, the incentive is $10,800 a day for every day ahead of the deadline, up to 100 days.

Plans are to widen Broadway Extension to six lanes and make Kelley Avenue a straight north-south street. An estimated 70,000 people daily travel Broadway Extension in that area.

Plans change for ramps
By May, contractors think most of the work on the ramps will be completed, Angier said.

I-35 project set to start soon

NORMAN — A $40 million project to widen Interstate 35 up to six lanes in Norman is expected to start Feb. 15. The project should be completed in the summer of 2010, said Terri Angier, state Transportation Department spokeswoman.

Workers will add lanes, improve exit ramps and add safety features. Construction will happen on a 4.6-mile stretch between Main Street and the U.S. 77 junction.

The contractor, Oklahoma City-based Haskell Lemon Construction Co., is mobilizing to prepare for the construction work to begin soon, Angier said.

This is the first of two major projects to widen I-35 through Norman. The second, widening I-35 from Main Street south to the Canadian River, is in the planning stages. The projects could take up to six years and cost nearly $200 million.

Nearly 75,000 vehicles a day travel this roadway, making it one of the state’s busiest four-lane stretches of highway. The interstate roadway near Norman is designed to carry up to 30,000 vehicles, Angier said.

DIANA BALDWIN, Staff Writer

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