Final Leg Of SH 74 Expansion Begins In NW OKC
OKLAHOMA CITY - Construction begins on a highly congested area northwest of the metro. It's a project two decades in the making and with this last leg, will finally be complete.
Prep work is already underway along State Highway 74, but drivers won’t see much action until mid-April. First, what they can expect to see are workers on the side of the road getting ready to widen the area between NW 167th Street to NW 206th Street, or Covell Road. Then, they will notice congestion.
“It's crazy, it bottle necks up the road,” said Kevin Clinton who lives near the roadway.
Clinton is among more than 21,000 drivers that travel SH 74 each day.
“It's just busy, everybody gets off at the same time and everybody's leaving at the same time,” he said.
Now, ODOT is preparing to tear up another section of the roadway.
“Traffic continues to grow in this area and we recognize the need to widen this area to four lanes,” said Lisa Shearer-Salim, ODOT spokesperson.
This is the fourth and final leg of the project which widens SH 74 or Portland Avenue to a divided four lane roadway. To the north, a stretch of the highway was widened from Covell to Waterloo years ago. This latest project will complete the expansion all the way to the Logan County Line.
“This impacts the Deer Creek area, it also impacts commuters from Logan County into Oklahoma City,” said Shearer-Salim. “There's even a lot of traffic that even comes off SH 33 onto this corridor.”
The project also includes three new intersections with added turn lanes and traffic signals at NW 178th Street, NW 192nd Street and NW 206th Street. While the construction nightmare will continue now, the project paves the way for convenience later.
“This area is a very busy area particularly during the morning and evening commute times and so we would urge motorists to plan alternate routes,” said Shearer-Salim.
For commuters like Clinton, that’s what he plans to do, as he waits out the growing pains of progress.
“It takes time, everybody's just got to be patient,” he said.
Construction is expected to be complete by the summer of 2019.