By Jeff Harrison
Midwest City Beacon
More roadwork is ahead for Interstate 40.
The Oklahoma Department of Transportation last week awarded a $170 million contract to rebuild the I-40 and Douglas Blvd. interchange and widen the interstate in eastern Oklahoma County.
The contract for the Douglas Blvd. interchange includes widening of six miles of the interstate between Industrial Rd. and I-240. The interchange will be rebuilt as a single-point urban interchange.
The design will improve safety and mobility while minimizing impact to the surrounding area. The interchange will be similar to one recently built at I-40 and Morgan Rd.
The project also includes reconstruction of the I-40 bridge over Anderson Rd. and the I-240 westbound ramp to I-40. The Westminster Rd. bridge will be rehabilitated to improve vertical clearance. And the Engle Rd. bridge will be removed.
When the project is completed, I-40 will be six lanes from Shawnee to Oklahoma City.
Transportation commissioners during an Oct. 3 meeting awarded the $170 million contract to Allen Contraction Inc./Shell Construction Co. Inc. of Oklahoma City. It is the single largest contract in ODOT history. Funding includes a $51 million federal grant.
Construction is expected to begin in early 2023 and be complete in 2025, ODOT officials said.
The project had been part of ODOT’s eight-year Construction Work Plan. It was expedited after Oklahoma was awarded a $51 million federal grant through the Infrastructure for Rebuilding America (INFRA) discretionary grant program. The interchange had been slated for reconstruction in 2025 and the widening and bridge work was planned for 2027.
The road improvements will coincide with expansion of Tinker Air Force Base and subsequent closure of Douglas Blvd. near the base.