AASHTO Journal, 10 November 2016
Officials from Oklahoma agencies including Department of Transportation joined a ceremony Nov. 3 to mark completion of a project that built a new Interstate 40 interchange in El Reno west of Oklahoma City, using a special type of public-private partnership.
ODOT said the Chesapeake Energy Corp. of Oklahoma City had announced in 2012 that it would pay the state’s portion of construction costs and secure the right-of-way necessary to add new interstate access in that growing area.
The $17 million project included reconstruction and widening of the existing Radio Road bridge over I-40 and adding new on- and off-ramps to provide interstate access.
Work began in November 2015 and is nearing completion. A companion project by the city of El Reno widened Radio Road between I-40 and SH-66 to accommodate traffic using the new interchange.
Among those at the event were Secretary of Transportation Gary Ridley and ODOT Executive Director Mike Patterson.
“Adding a new interchange to I-40 would have ordinarily been beyond the financial resources available to ODOT,” Patterson said. “Chesapeake Energy created a challenge and an opportunity, but they also brought the solution by providing the matching funds and right-of-way necessary to make this project a reality.”
Gov. Mary Fallin said in a statement: “Thanks to the partnership between Chesapeake Energy, the city of El Reno and ODOT, we’ve addressed another bridge and provided interstate access that will benefit businesses and drivers. Highway access is one of the top-rated factors by businesses when looking to invest in a new location, so this interchange will help Oklahoma attract new companies and new jobs.”