Edmond plans intersection improvements
EDMOND — City officials have begun preparing for major road improvements as traffic in the city continues to climb.
At three major intersections, city officials are proposing complete redesigns, but an official timeline has not been set for projects to begin.
Those intersections include Second Street and Bryant Avenue, Second Street and Boulevard Street, and Danforth and Sooner roads.
This past week, the city council approved the first step toward the three projects, which are expected to total more than $10.5 million.
The city is hoping federal funds will pay for more than $8.4 million of the total cost.
All three intersections are at capacity and were identified as the top intersections that frustrate drivers, according to a study done by the city.
The surveys also found that traffic is the No. 1 concern for citizens, which was not a surprise to city officials.
“We are using the information from those surveys to catch up,” said Assistant City Manager Steve Commons.
The two intersections of Second and Bryant and Second and Boulevard serve about 40,000 cars per day.
Officials are hoping to add dual left-turn lanes on Second and Bryant along with right-turn lanes, which will alleviate congestion that intersection has seen.
At Second and Boulevard, dual left-turn lanes and possible rightturn lanes will be added for the north and south approaches on Boulevard.
The improvements at the intersection will reduce the amount of green signal time on Boulevard, allowing for more traffic flow on Second.
Construction will use space in the existing medians, eliminating the need to buy easements from nearby neighbors.
At Danforth and Sooner, plans are to widen the intersection to four lanes with left and right turns. It will be the most costly of the three improvements at $7.5 million.
The city is also looking to get designs created for widening Danforth, from the bridge at Interstate 35 to a half-mile west of Sooner.
There are no plans for a bridge expansion at this time.
Now, the intersection is two lanes and has a stop sign, but once completed it would have a traffic light. More than 10,000 cars travel the intersection each day.
The number of turn lanes in both directions has not been calculated as a final traffic study is needed.
A large retaining wall will be required on the northwest and southwest sides of Danforth due to a large elevation difference.
Construction on the intersection could happen after work is completed at the Second and Bryant intersection and Second and Boulevard intersection. No date has been set, but city officials expect it will be at least a year away.
Danforth and Thomas Drive
Starting in May, construction crews will be tearing up Thomas Drive just east of Edmond North High School to add a curve in the street.
The designs call for the road to loop around the east side of the parking lot students use.
The changes will no longer require students to cross Thomas to get to school.
Construction is expected to be finished by August before students return.
During the first budget meeting of the year, Commons said the city has begun looking at expanding Covell to a four-lane road.
While no formal plans exist, it is expected to be widened from Bryant to I-35. The project is several years away, however, the city has begun talks about budgeting for it next year.