Traffic Talk: State Highway 74 reconstruction is continuing ... slowly

Don Gammill: When the entire State Highway 74 corridor reconstruction is complete, the road will be four to five lanes between Memorial Road in Oklahoma City and Waterloo Road at the Logan County line, said Cole Hackett, of the Oklahoma Transportation Department.
by Don Gammill Published: September 30, 2013
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It's time for (another) update on a well-traveled roadway.

My wife and I moved to the Deer Creek area before our son was born, partly on the promise the then-brand new Lake Hefner Parkway/Highway 74 would be expanded to five lanes to the Oklahoma County line. The Oklahoma County Planning Office assured us (in person, with maps and project plans in hand) the project would start in 2000 and be completed in three to four years. Traffic was heavy, but we decided we could put up with it for awhile.

Our son will graduate high school soon. We're still waiting.

Inexplicably, the northern and middle phases were begun first, rather than the southern one, the last, and the one with the heaviest traffic. Today, traffic along that stretch, still just two lanes, is horrid. It's routinely backed up a half to 1 mile every morning and evening. It's normal to wait through two and often more lights at NW 150, NW 164 and NW 178.

We're ecstatic that new construction has recently begun to widen the intersections at those same three intersections. That's the first progress we've seen in — I think — almost two years! Maybe you could find out for us if this project will be finished before we retire in a couple more years.

Norm

Here's the latest from Cole Hackett, of the Media and Public Relations Division of the state Transportation Department:

“The SH 74 corridor between Memorial Road and Waterloo Road has grown rapidly in the past 20 years and with it the need to add additional traffic capacity to the roadway. The planning and preparations for the upcoming projects to complete the widening of the corridor have been moving along steadily as funding has been available, but in the mean time, an interim project is currently going on to add right turn lanes on north- and southbound SH 74 at NW 150 (33rd Street, Edmond) and NW 164 (15th Street, Edmond), and on northbound SH 74 at NW 178 (Edmond Road).

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by Don Gammill
General Assignment Editor and Columnist
Don Gammill is general assignment editor and columnist. A native of Ponca City, he graduated from Central State University (now the University of Central Oklahoma). While in college, he was a sports stringer for The Oklahoma City Times....
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