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OKC interchange project called 'a welcome achievement'

OKC interchange project called 'a welcome achievement'

Nearly $30M project expected to boost Edmond economy, smooth traffic

Oct 7, 2009 - The Oklahoman

After nearly $30 million and 390 work days, the Broadway Extension at Memorial Road and Kelley Avenue interchange project was officially dedicated Tuesday.

Edmond Chamber of Commerce Chairwoman Jan Moran called the completion "a welcome achievement for the many people who drive from Edmond to Oklahoma City daily.”

Edmond Mayor Patrice Douglas said the project will give a financial boost to the city’s economy.

"This is one of the main corridors into Edmond. It’s not only one of the most trafficked areas into Edmond, but it is also a corridor for our business community and for economic development,” she said.

The project, which started in July 2008, widened Broadway to six lanes in the area and added dedicated turn lanes. Kelley Avenue, which previously was a dead end on both sides of the highway, is now a straight north-south street crossing under Broadway Extension.

The Oklahoma administrator for the Federal Highway Administration, Gary Corino, said the improvements will minimize traffic tie-ups and increase Broadway Extension’s capacity. Currently 65,000 vehicles travel the Broadway Extension and Memorial Road interchange, according to the state Transportation Department.

Gary Ridely, director of the state Transportation Department, thanked the businesses that were affected by road detours during the project. "We affect business when we do an undertaking of this magnitude. It’s a hardship on those who use the roads and the businesses surrounding it,” he said.

Area commuters faced lane closures and detours during the past 14 months. Debra Garling Johnson of Edmond said despite 28 years of driving, it will take her some time to get used to the new improvements near Broadway Extension on Kelley Avenue. "I love it. I can’t wait for it to be officially open. But I have found trying to turn left to get on Broadway Extension is taking some time to change.”

Steve Story of Edmond said, "I think the traffic flows better, seems to be somewhat faster, but that’s a strange place for a stoplight in front of the old Ford dealership.”

Transportation Department spokeswoman Teri Angier said drivers using southbound Kelley Avenue may experience occasional lane closings as workers finish painting the decorative brick under the Broadway Extension bridge.

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