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EDMOND: County commissioners support city projects

EDMOND: County commissioners support city projects

James Coburn
The Edmond Sun

EDMOND September 17, 2009 12:26 am

The Oklahoma County Board of County Commissioners unanimously voted Wednesday to support two City of Edmond transportation federal stimulus applications for the Kelly at-grade railroad crossing project and the Covell Road project.

The Recovery Act appropriated $1.5 billion of discretionary grant funds to be awarded by the Department of Transportation for capital investments in surface transportation infrastructure.

The first project is the Kelly Avenue and Burlington Northern Santa Fe railway grade separation project. The second project is the Covell Road Project from I-35 to Portland Avenue/State Highway 74.

“Edmond continues to grow and Oklahoma County fully supports these projects to help our residents with traffic issues and the creation of jobs,” said Ray Vaughn of Edmond, District 3 commissioner.

The city has identified what it believes to be a traffic hazard caused by the recent addition of a fly-loop exit for northbound Broadway Extension to Memorial Road crossing at Kelly. A passing train potentially could cause traffic to back up from the railroad tracks onto the Broadway Extension.

The City of Edmond also would need to get the rights-of-way from Oklahoma City for the Memorial Road crossing at Kelly, City Manager Larry Stevens said last week. Discussions with Oklahoma City began three years ago.

Congresswoman Mary Fallin has made a $16 million federal funding request to complete the Kelly at-grade crossing following a $20 million request from Mayor Patrice Douglas earlier this summer. The state potentially would contribute the additional $2 million needed for the $20 million project.

The City of Edmond has made grant applications to help fund future construction of Covell Road as a four-lane thoroughfare. TIGER applications were due on Tuesday.

Two sections of the $45 million Covell project include an extension from the Multipurpose Activity Center at Marilyn Williams Drive to Thomas Drive. The other section would extend from Boulevard to Interstate 35.

The city has a $10 million budget for the west section of the project, City Engineer Steve Manek said in August. Municipalities are competing for the TIGER stimulus funding, he said.

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