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Traffic Talk: No plans for center turn lane on N May

Don Gammill: No plans to widen May to five lanes at this time
By Don Gammill, Staff Writer Modified: June 23, 2014 at 10:00 am •  Published: June 23, 2014

Last month, I had an opportunity to get an up-close look at the work on North May Avenue. The “opportunity” was created by the volume of traffic on May. We were down to a near crawl for about two miles in the work zone. But it was obvious better times are ahead.

I was most disappointed to see the recent asphalt overlay applied to North May Avenue. It was my understanding that North May was to be widened with a center turn lane from NW 23 to Britton Road. Also, concrete was to be used instead of asphalt. Apparently I heard wrong. North May’s traffic is a mess and desperately needs a center turn lane. Is this in any future plans?

— Dan

Someone may have given you some bad information, Dan.

“Unfortunately, there is not a plan to widen May Avenue to five lanes (center turn) at this time,” says Shannon Cox with the City of Oklahoma City. “Right-of-way restrictions (commercial/business areas/parking) and numerous utilities make this type of project very difficult, and in some cases impractical.

“However,” she adds, “the City of Oklahoma City is committed to improving road conditions as the quality of city streets has been the citizens’ top priority for several years. Numerous resurfacing projects are underway to improve road conditions across the city.

“Prior to resurfacing, this portion of May Avenue had an average pavement condition index (PCI) of 30, which is poor. The PCI scales on a range of 0 to 100, with 100 representing a new road.

“May Avenue from NW 23 to NW 36 was resurfaced in 2010. The resurfacing from NW 36 north to Britton Road was finished earlier this month with a partnership project between the city and the Oklahoma Department of Transportation (ODOT). This four-mile project received 80 percent federal funds toward construction (approximately $3.9M) with the city’s 20 percent share of $800,000.

“Now that these projects are complete, the PCI has significantly improved and many years of excellent service can be expected from this section of May Avenue.

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