If you need to travel in the vicinity of Kelley Avenue and Hefner Road these days, be prepared. There is a lot of activity involving some big machinery.
And there are several such projects planned for down the road. Here is an update from Shannon Cox, public information and marketing manager for the Public Works Department, City of Oklahoma City:
Hefner Road projects
1. Street widening (two lanes to four lanes) from just west of Kelley to west of Eastern Avenue is under construction. This project also will improve the Hefner and Kelley intersection with traffic signalizations and lane additions for left turns. Anticipated completion: January 2015.
2. Hefner from Broadway Extension to Midwest Boulevard (six miles — except Kelley to Eastern) was resurfaced by the Oklahoma Department of Transportation as part of a federally participated project that paid 80 percent of construction costs ($2.4 million federal funds). The city’s 20 percent share was about $600,000.
3. Hefner from Broadway Extension to Midwest Boulevard (except Kelley to Eastern) safety project to install guard rails at several locations is part of a federally participated project that pays 100 percent of the construction cots (estimated about $750,000). Project is in design and environmental clearing process. Transportation Department will bid and construct the project. Anticipated construction start: fall 2015.
Kelley Avenue projects
1. NE 23 to NE 50 (two miles). Pavement repair, resurfacing with asphalt and sidewalk on one side. Anticipated construction start: summer 2016.
2. NE 63 to east Wilshire Boulevard. Widen street from two to four lanes. Land acquisition is complete. Utility relocations will follow, including electrical transmission and distribution lines, among others. Utility clearance may take nine months to a year. Anticipated construction start: summer 2015.
3. E Wilshire to E Britton Road. Widen street from two to four lanes. Anticipated construction start: summer 2019.
4. E Britton to Hefner. Widen street from two to four lanes. Anticipated construction start: summer 2018.
5. Hefner to NE 122. Widen street from two to four lanes. Land acquisition complete. Utility relocations will follow, including electrical transmission and distribution lines, among others. Utility clearance may take nine months to a year. Anticipated construction start: summer 2015.
6. NE 122 to south of Memorial Road. Widen street from two to four lanes. Anticipated construction start: summer 2017.
Things are moving and will be for some time, looks like.
By the way ...
The “Click It or Ticket” effort begins today and continues through the Memorial Day weekend. Law enforcement agencies throughout Oklahoma will be looking for drivers and passengers who are not buckled up according to state law. I assure you, they’re serious about it.
“Those who choose not to wear a seat belt will feel the heat during this campaign,” said Lt. Troy German, of the Oklahoma Highway Patrol. “Motorists should buckle up every time they go out, both day and night — no warnings and no excuses.”
German is the statewide occupant protection coordinator. State law requires: “drivers and front-seat passengers age 13 and over to have a safety belt properly fastened at all times the vehicle is being operated. Children age 12 and younger are required to be properly restrained in the appropriate car seat, booster seat or seat belt, according to the child’s age and weight.”
Safety officials estimate seat belts save about 13,000 lives annually. In 2012 (the latest year of complete statistics in Oklahoma), there were 708 traffic-related fatalities in our state, of which 57.7 percent of those who died were not using seat belts or restraints. Nearly 50 percent of those were thrown from a vehicle during the accident.
We can do much better. Just follow the law.
Enjoy your week and drive safely.